Ferns want to fix chinks in armour
The Silver Ferns will look to be more ruthless against Australia in game two of the Constellation Cup in Auckland on Thursday night.
New Zealand let an 11-goal lead slip into danger territory in the back end of the final quarter in Invercargill on Sunday night, eventually holding on to win 55-51.
Ferns defender Joline Henry said the fightback was a combination of Diamonds doggedness and New Zealand's inability to completely put their opposition away.
"I definitely think it's a characteristic of Australia, they never, ever give up," she said.
"They always want it more when they are down by a lot. I think we made mistakes that let them back into the game. It's a critical moment for us, that when we are ahead by so many that we need to put our foot down and I don't think that's something we've mastered yet."
The Ferns had been quick to pinpoint what areas of the game need addressing before Thursday's second test at Vector Arena.
"I think we were found a bit, I guess waiting, for things to happen on defence," Henry said.
"I think we got better in the second half at attacking ball in flight and I think we need to do that more and we need to start that right from the word go. On attack I think we were guilty sometimes of just watching other people do the work. We need to get in there, pass and cut and create space for each other."
The Silver Ferns were injury free as they left Invercargill yesterday bound for Auckland and first test debutante Courtney Tairi was keen for more action after earning her first cap against Australia on Sunday night.
Australian-born Tairi has spent the past two years playing for the Southern Steel but will line up for the Magic next season.
"I was just happy to get my first touch of the ball and get it into the circle. For me it was just doing my basics and knowing what I can do well," Tairi said.
"It is a completely different ball game. We do play each other week in, week out, so it's not like we don't know each other, but there's a step up in speed and physicality that's for sure."
Tairi said she wasn't especially nervous before the test, although the butterflies intensified the closer she got to the opening centre pass.
"It's the same preparations as for any other game, it's just another game of netball. The nerves were probably a bit more, but that's good because I think my adrenaline was a bit higher as well."
Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu said Tairi's low error rate had earned her the start ahead of Anna Thompson, with Thompson coming off the bench at halftime.
Taumaunu said the pair offered different styles of game and the change had not been premeditated.
Both players had work to do before the game two in Auckland on Thursday night, she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News