27 Oct 2019

Silver Ferns storied rivalry with Australia excites Taurua

1:54 pm on 27 October 2019

The Silver Ferns' epic encounters with the Australian Diamonds during the Constellation Cup series have been good for the sport, coach Noeline Taurua says.

Silver Ferns Maria Folau - Constellation Cup Game 2, between the NZ Silver Ferns v Australian Diamonds, held at Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.  16 October 2019       Photo: Brett Phibbs / www.photosport.nz

Maria Folau shoots over the reach of Courtney Bruce. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

That rivalry will culminate this afternoon when the two sides meet in Perth with everything on the line.

New Zealand go into the final test 2-1 up and a win will secure them the trans-Tasman netball series for the first time in seven years.

Two of the games so far have been decided by one goal margins and the Silver Ferns have come out on top on both of those heart-stopping occasions.

In game three in Sydney the Silver Ferns had to contend with a 13,000 packed crowd but defender Katrina Rore said they had thrived off the pressure.

"It's hard to win on Aussie soil let alone in front of a very big Sydney crowd. I thought once everyone got behind Australia I feel like we lifted as well and our whole bench lifted. You could even see Noels [Noeline] very animated on the bench which we absolutely love and I think we thrived off all of that and I think it made it better," said Rore.

"Our ball retention and when the pressure has come on we've all been totally fine with that we've embraced the pressure and really thrived off it I thought. And we've gone into games with plans A, B, and C. If Aussie do something we've got our own backup plan so we're evolving our game and making changes as we see fit and carrying that on into I suppose a new Silver Ferns era hopefully."

Noeline Taurua said they were excited about today's decider and she was happy about the progress the team had made.

"What we've been able to do post World Cup so I feel that we've made massive shifts in our overall game but icing on the cake Constellation Cup up for grabs, really looking forward to it," Taurua said.

"One of the things we spoke about was our post Netball World Cup and going into a new era. Coming in from a frame of being more dominant and being consistent in our performances, and so far so good we've been able to demonstrate that out on court. One more game to go and the opportunity to get the Cup but also to showcase what we can do."

Taurua said the trans-Tasman rivalry helped raise the profile of the sport.

"The number one and two powerhouse countries playing against each other. I feel that there's quality netball out there and not only with the sell-out crowd in Sydney but also home in Auckland and Christchurch. I feel it's actually helped to raise the profile of our sport so same again here in Perth it's going to be a sell-out and looking forward to getting out there and playing."

Shooting legend Maria Folau will become the second New Zealand netballer to reach 150 tests, joining skipper Laura Langman.

Rore said she was proud of Folau, who she had played alongside for years.

"She's given a lot to netball worldwide and in New Zealand. The way she's does things - that silky shot I feel like she can shoot from anywhere and once she came along I don't think anybody else did what she did and a lot of young kids grow up aspiring to be her which is amazing and 150 is unreal and really proud of her."

Taurua said it was amazing how much Folau's game had grown even in the short time frame she'd been coaching the Ferns.

"She's moved from GA to GS bib and she's running across both positions and even though she doesn't actually like goal shoot it's amazing that her contribution to the team she'll do anything so 150 is a massive milestone.

"Can't wait to see her out there she's definitely an icon and a legend of our game not only in New Zealand but also internationally."

Coverage of the game starts at 3pm.