The Australian Diamonds are brushing aside their four-game losing streak ahead of Sunday's opening Constellation Cup test against the Silver Ferns in Invercargill, although straight talking coach Lisa Alexander admits that record "hurts".
It's been 11 months since the Diamonds last won a game, against England, in Tauranga, last October.
Since then they have suffered a 48-43 loss to New Zealand in Hamilton and a three-game series whitewash at the hands of England in an away series in January.
Defender Bianca Chatfield, who should earn her 50th cap for the Diamonds on Sunday, 12 years after making her debut, appeared unaware of the streak untilinformed of it yesterday.
"We haven't actually spoken about it and I didn't know until you just told me, so thanks for that," Chatfield joked.
"Whatever happened last year, we've learnt from that, we aren't going to bring it up and worry about it too much. I think we had an amazing game that we can can recall last year when we beat New Zealand by 20 goals in Sydney."
Midcourter Madison Browne echoed Chatfield's comments.
"I don't think it's even come into our mind, to be honest. We are just focussed on the job at hand and working on one another and building our combinations. It's exciting to be here and we are just excited with the group of girls we've got and we know we need to put our best performances out there."
Browne is part of a strong Australian midcourt which is a strength for the Diamonds.
"I'm looking forward to it," Browne, who may end up playing against a former team-mate in Silver Ferns rookie Courtney Tairi, said.
"We've obviously got Kim Ravaillion, who played in England with us coming into the centre court lineup, but we've also got Kim Green [who's] got a lot of experience, a lot of games under her belt. I have absolutely no doubt that we've got the players to get the job done."
"I played with Courtney at the World Youth Cup in 2009. I think she'll bring a lot to their centre court lineup. We just have to play our own game and have the confidence to let the ball go, just play the Australian way."
Alexander, who has a 61 per cent win record after 18 tests as Diamonds coach, said recent results did not sit well with her.
"We are extremely hungry, we are very hungry. Having four losses is completely unusual for the Australian Diamonds and we don't like it and it really hurts," she said.
"However, the only way to do anything about that is to respond and certainly the squad responded extremely well after the England series."
Alexander said after speaking with her players after the England series, a focus has been put on strength and conditioning.
"England are matching us there and if we are just slightly off our A game we'll get beaten. It was a great reminder for everybody."
- © Fairfax NZ News