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Silver Ferns identify key focus areas

Coach Noeline Taurua has targeted the key work-ons ahead of the Silver Ferns second Northern Netball Quad Series match against the Australian Diamonds in London on Sunday (5.30am NZT).

The Silver Ferns delivered a strong first half against the England Roses in their opener on Monday, trailing by just one at the main break before a faltering third quarter led to an eventual 54-41 loss.

By shoring up certain aspects of their game, the Silver Ferns are hoping to build a more solid platform for an improved showing against the Diamonds.

With shooters Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekenasio both returning over 90 percent success rates, Taurua was happy with the accuracy levels but concerned with the lack of ball getting into their hands.

From our centre pass we got too isolated in taking the ball to the shooting end, so that’s a huge area we need to improve,” she said.

In other areas it’s our ability to be able to execute and deliver ball in hand when we’re being worked over on the body. That’s not anything different to what we have spoken about previously but still an area to improve on while defensively we just didn’t get enough ball.”

With Taurua continuing to explore all her options ahead of July’s Netball World Cup, Kimiora Poi and Erena Mikaere made their debuts against a classy and experienced Roses team, leaving the new-look Silver Ferns still building on their combinations.

Any game against Australia is huge and the only way we can go is up,” Taurua said.

“We’re looking forward to the game and we’ve got another opportunity to improve. None of us is happy with the England result and we’ve just got to keep moving forward.

This wasn’t the way we wanted to start 2019 but it is how it is. It just shows where we currently sit and that we’ve just got to keep working hard and building on each step of our progress.”

Captain Laura Langman has reiterated the team’s goal for the series of winning two out of three games with the South Africa Proteas match to follow and remains upbeat about where the team is headed.

The first half against England showed some real promise but we lost a bit of our go-forward in the third quarter which cost us,” she said.

For me, as long as we’re learning every game, our vision is July 2019 (Netball World Cup) and we want to expose ourselves as much as we can before that so we keep learning.

Against Australia, we’ve got to step up. We’ve still got an opportunity to get that two from three. We’re not going to be put off by what happened against England, it’s all about weathering the storm and being better than we were in that game.”