2 Nov 2020

England series down, Dame Noeline looks for next challenge

7:37 am on 2 November 2020

Silver Ferns' coach Dame Noeline Taurua believes the Taini Jamison series was a good test for her side and is already looking for the next challenge.

Silver Ferns Maia Wilson.

Maia Wilson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The world champions beat the England Roses 62-47 in another fiercely contested test in Hamilton last night to take a clean sweep of the series.

Despite some inconsistent patches it was their most polished performance of the series.

Dame Noeline said England were tough opposition and it was what they needed.

"So we were put under the pressure, and for me being a coach that's really what I want. So that we are under pressure, players can be exposed, we can be exposed in regards to strategy as we build over two years," Dame Noeline said.

The Silver Ferns squad go into camp again this Friday for three days.

"Debrief what 2020 is and then set ourselves up for 2021 with the bonus of Australia hopefully in January so we're going to get ourselves prepared as much as possible and love to be able to play the Diamonds."

Maia Wilson delivered another fine shooting performance for New Zealand last night, converting 44 of her 47 shots (94%), while Kelly Jury led their defensive effort in her first start since the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

By the time Jury was replaced late in the third quarter she had come up with three intercepts, three deflections and two rebounds.

Dame Noeline said the lanky defender was a good weapon for them.

"Just her presence and obviously her reach is an asset to us but would be terrible for the opposition but that point of difference in the circle and I thought she hunted really well.

"I thought she did really well, she lasted three-quarters as well and probably the most that she's done for a wee while wearing the black dress."

Silver Ferns Monica Faulkner.

Monica Faulkner Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Silver Ferns' coach is keen to build more depth in the goal defence position, given both Phoenix Karaka and Katrina Rore are unavailable due to pregnancy.

"That's an area Jane's [Watson] been playing but she actually is an international goal keep as well, so just having a wee look with Sulu [Fitzpatrick] out there. We needed to be able to see that in real time playing against an international side."

Silver Ferns' captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio said she was in awe of how Maia Wilson kept going from strength to strength.

"Even within the last year as well and she just continues to grow and continues to amaze me in what she does and I sometimes forget how young she is. But I think the combination is still coming, there's still a lot more we can do and yeah it's a combination I'm definitely loving," Ekenasio said.

Monica Falkner scored her first goal in Test netball when she came on for the final few minutes.

Dame Noeline said it had been a whirlwind for her.

"Once again we can consolidate the learning that she's had over this time and hopefully she'll show up in January pushing for a spot as well so she'll take a lot out of getting out on court."

Roses head back to uncertainty

Meanwhile, the England Roses fly back home tomorrow, not knowing what the immediate future looks like, with the country about to go into lockdown.

Acting head coach Kat Ratnapala said it was a state they were just going to have to face.

Silver Ferns Kelly Jury defending against England 2020.


"We've got lots of different strategies of going forward, whether there are any other international opportunities this year or even in January is still unknown at the moment. For us it's very much making sure that we're taking control of the controllables and hopefully we can continue that elite return back to training," Ratnapala said.

She said there had been some missed opportunities out on court but overall she was pleased with the way her squad played over the three Tests.

Ratnapala said after their performances this week, it was not a forgone conclusion that their Australian based stars would walk back into the side.

"We've tested these young players coming through and I wouldn't definitely say it's going to be you know easy for them to come back in. There's definitely a fight for court time and a fight for their places, which is a really exciting time for England."

Co-captain Serena Guthrie said she was proud of the way the team pushed the Silver Ferns given their underdog status.

"The Silver Ferns, they didn't shake us off and that was something that we spoke quite strongly about. It was about coming here and getting people to understand what we're about and what kind of brand of netball we want to try and continue to play no matter who's in the red dress and I think we were able to do that," Guthrie said.