Katrina Grant targets Ferns win for 100th Test

Author
Radio Sport staff,
Section
Netball,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 6:00PM
Grant first stepped onto the court for NZ nine years ago (Photo / Photosport)
Grant first stepped onto the court for NZ nine years ago (Photo / Photosport)

Nine years and 99 Tests have elapsed since rookie goal defence Katrina Grant first took to the netball court for New Zealand, but memories of her debut are still vivid.

Now Silver Ferns skipper, Grant remembers sitting gobsmacked as assistant coach Waimarama Taumaunu told her she'd be starting against Australia the following day in Auckland.

"Australia, goal defence... I was pretty stoked about it, and also very nervous," Grant said.

It was a memorable start for the 21-year-old, up against wily campaigner Catherine Cox and newcomer Susan Pratley in the Australian shooting circle.

The Silver Ferns rebounded from their first Test loss in Christchurch to win 38-31, just the second time in the last eight matches they'd beaten the Diamonds.

"I enjoyed it immensely, and having Casey Kopua behind me obviously made things a lot easier," she said.

She admits the pre-match nerves have never really disappeared, and says they're a bit more apparent than usual going into Wednesday's decisive third Test against England in Hamilton.

The three-Test series is level at 1-1, England finishing strongly to win the second Test 49-46 in Napier three days ago after the Ferns won the series opener in Wellington 62-55 last week.

"The Taini Jamison Trophy is on the line - we don't want to lose that, and we don't want to lose to England," she told NZ Newswire.

"We don't like to lose to anybody."

Grant is confident her youthful team will take the series if they can repeat the form that gave them an upset 57-47 win over Australia nine days ago to win the Quad Series.

"The Quad Series was a do-or-die match, and this side really came through.

"It's good for these young ones to really experience what it's like to be put under that pressure.

"It's going to be a battle on Wednesday, it's going to be so torrid, but these are the games we need before Comm Games and World Cup."

New Zealand centurions:
Irene van Dyk 145
Laura Langman 141
Maria Tutaia and Lesley Rumball 110
Leana de Bruin 104
Casey Kopua 101

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