Silver Ferns showing improvement despite loss

Author
Radio Sport, NZ Herald,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Thursday, 11 October 2018, 7:47PM
The Silver Ferns lost again, but Noeline Taurua seems to be solidifying a starting line-up in Constellation Cup. (Photo / Getty)

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From making uncountable changes to making none.

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua took a different approach to Wednesday night's Constellation Cup loss against the Australian Diamonds – and at times, it appeared to work.

The new coach was criticised for making too many alterations during the Silver Ferns' 15-goal loss to the Diamonds on Sunday after selecting a rather inexperienced starting line-up including young goal shoot Aliyah Dunn.

Taurua urged for patience after she revealed that she still hadn't found her ideal starting seven nor her perfect shooting combination and needed to expose the younger players to the international stage.

But in what appeared an attempt to settle things and gun for a win, Taurua took a step back last night.

The Ferns did go down for the ninth consecutive time against their rivals, however, performed much more consistently across the court and showed exciting improvements.

Although admitting that there were moments she was tempted to make changes, Taurua said she was pleased by how her selected seven performed.

"I'm rapt that we've been able to keep the seven out there, it does highlight areas that we need to improve on and work on as individuals but we'll get a lot of mileage out of that and a lot of confidence."

"We're still looking for combinations, looking for units but I thought there was a better balance out there in regards to the personal ... I thought they fought really well."

Maria Folau was given her second start in the goal shoot bib – a position the veteran goal attack has rarely played in recent history.

Playing alongside Te-Paea Selby-Rickit in the shooting circle, Folau showed great potential in the position and will likely be handed the start again with Taurua pleased with the performance of the duo.

"I was rapt with what she did in the goal shoot position, I thought she provided us with stability there and obviously as we all know she can shoot so getting the ball to her increased in volume and that's very pleasing," she said.

"I thought she was smart ... she led from the back and I was pleased by that."

Skipper Laura Langman, who made history last night becoming the most capped Silver Fern with 146 tests now to her name, wasn't concerned about her side's second loss in the cup series.

Modest about her achievement, Langman said she was concentrating on the long-term plan and said she was confident in the Ferns' progress.

"For me, it's always the bigger picture," Langman said, "I was really pleased that we were recognising the moments and I think that was a really big step forward from where we had been.

"I think that's a real positive and I felt too we did run with, them now it's just that next step about really punching through."

The Ferns will be desperate to avoid another Constellation Cup whitewash with just two tests left to claim a win over their biggest rivals.

The two sides will meet again in four days time at Hamilton's Claudelands area for the third test of the annual series.

 

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