Leota re-commits as Silver Ferns take stock

Last updated 05:38 04/08/2014
Liana Leota
LIANA LEOTA: ''I'll be back. I need more game time. England [semifinal] was a big wake up call, I'd forgot I hadn't played a big time game for about three years.''

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Liana Leota has committed herself to the Silver Ferns for next year's world championship.

The 29-year-old will return to England where her husband Johnny is playing professional rugby before coming back to New Zealand for the Silver Ferns trials in September.

New Zealand's next outing will be the Constellation Cup series against Australia, beginning in Invercargill in October.

''I'll be back. I need more game time. England [semifinal] was a big wake up call, I'd forgot I hadn't played a big time game for about three years,'' Leota said.

''That was big for me. The more game time I can play against Aussie and England, the better I'll get.''

Leota expects to sign a contract soon with the Pulse for next year's trans-Tasman league.

Leana de Bruin wasn't as sure about her international future, although she said it was not the right time to be making any decisions

''I'm still enjoying the game, still love it. I've just got to go home and see what the future holds and take it from there.''

The Silver Ferns were hugely disappointed with their 18-goal loss to Australia in the Commonwealth Games gold medal final.

The losing margin suggests a team that was completely outplayed, and in this case it would be right.

''We really had to get up today and they were full of class,'' Laura Langman said after the final.

''I think their lines, their angles, their ball speed just undid us.''

After losing their last five games in a row against Australia, the Silver Ferns will be desperate to stop the rot when they meet in tests on both sides of the Tasman in October.

Langman said finding a way to beat their international nemesis wouldn't be easy.

''On attack we really need to be as disciplined as we were against Jamaica, with the ball in hand. We need to use ball speed, we need to get around and take the hits and still distribute under stress ball. When we do collect we need to get it into shooting position.''

Silver Ferns coach Wai Taumaunu was confident Cathrine Latu and Maria Tutaia hadn't done any additional damage to their calf and foot, respectively, by playing in the final.

Tutaia did not have any painkilling injections for the game, relying on some hard work by the team's medical staff to get out on court.

After the game she was clearly hobbled by the injury and she had been restricted by it during the game.

The Silver Ferns will get a six-week break now before the September's trials.

New Zealand struggled to convert their opportunities, Tutaia battling to 71 percent and Jodi Brown landing 11 from 16 attempts.

''They definitely came out firing, on attack they were pretty on point and on defence they were pretty rugged,'' Tutaia said.

''They just knew where we were going to pass the ball. I think for us we gave it our all, I'm extremely proud of how the girls fought, not just today but the whole week. This whole week has been so hard for everyone.''

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