10 Aug 2023

New trans-Tasman netball competition is on the cards

7:03 am on 10 August 2023
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Photo: AFP

New Zealand Netball is already investigating resurrecting a trans-Tasman domestic competition with Australia.

Former players and coaches have suggested the Silver Ferns poor performance at the World Cup was due in part to the quality of the of the ANZ Premiership, believing the resumption of a trans-Tasman rivalry would create a tougher competition.

The Silver Ferns went into the tournament as defending champions but finished fourth, their worst performance in the history of the competition.

It's seven years since there was a competition involving franchise teams from each country, with the last one ending in 2016.

Netball New Zealand acting chief executive David Cooper said they have been involved in discussions with Netball Australia for several months on re-establishing a trans-Tasman competition but pointed out the lack of such a competition didn't impact the Silver Ferns in 2019.

Netball World Cup 2019 final - Australia v New Zealand - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England,World Cup 2019 winners, New Zealand, during the medal ceremony. Laura Langman with the trophy.

Photo: © SWpix.com (t/a Photography Hub Ltd)

"In 2019 there were a lot of people that came out and said what a great decision it was that we had made the decision to step away from trans-Tasman then so to now be four years on and the reverse to be said there needs to be a fair bit of analysis to work through."

Cooper said a review of the ANZ premiership has been underway for several months and the competition is locked in until the end of 2024 season with any new competition only able to begin from 2025.

While New Zealand and Australian officials have also been discussing future possibilities for both their domestic competitions.

"We have some ideas around how something might work ...but there's still quite a bit of work to do and there are 'pros and cons' in everything we are looking at."

Asked if, for example, the top two teams from each domestic competition could square off against one another Cooper replied, "that example has some difficulties as each competition has longer finals series so teams won't be able to compete at the same level, so it's just too early to go into the detail of what things might look like other than to say there is a conversation that is being had."

Fans during the ANZ Premiership Netball match between Robinhood Stars and Southern Steel at Pulman Arena Auckland, New Zealand. 19 July 2021. Copyright Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport

The re-establishment of a trans-Tasman competition will also feature in the review of the Silver Ferns disappointing World Cup campaign as Cooper said the ANZ premiership plays a major role in the sport's high performance programme.

That review is expected to be completed within two months.

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua's contract runs through until the end of the year meaning she will be at the helm for next month's test series against England and Constellation Cup against Australia in October.

Taurua has said she will take some time to decide whether she wants to continue in the role or not.