Departing Cathrine Tuivaiti blasts Netball NZ over lack of communication

Cathrine Tuivaiti, playing for the Pulse this season, has blasted Netball New Zealand after receiving no communication ...
Hagen Hopkins

Cathrine Tuivaiti, playing for the Pulse this season, has blasted Netball New Zealand after receiving no communication about missing out on trials.

Departing shooter Cathrine Tuivaiti has slammed Netball New Zealand (NNZ) after receiving no feedback why she was overlooked for a Silver Ferns trial.

Tuivaiti, who played the last of her 24 tests for the Silver Ferns in 2014, signed with Australian Super Netball side, the Adelaide Thunderbirds for 2018, this week. She will join retired Silver Ferns centurion Leana de Bruin at the Thunderbirds next year. 

The 30-year-old Tuivaiti, was a glaring omission when the Silver Ferns' list of 25 triallists was announced last month, despite being the most accurate shooter in the inaugural national premiership 483-509 (95 per cent) with the Central Pulse. 

Tuivaiti had no issue with missing out on trials, but was furious she hadn't received any word from NNZ why she had been omitted.

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She was even more irate to hear rumours she hadn't been picked because of supposed "off-court" issues.

Cathrine Tuivaiti, in happier times, playing for the Silver Ferns in 2014.
Rob Jefferies

Cathrine Tuivaiti, in happier times, playing for the Silver Ferns in 2014.

"What disappoints the hell out of me is that I've had no communication. I've had no reason," Tuivaiti told Radio Sport.

"To read that there were some off-court issues makes me out to be a bad guy. Yes, I have a foul mouth, but I'm a good person and I do as much as I can for my team-mates and for my country, of late. 

"I don't really know what that's about, but I'm not happy about it. It's news to me and it really pisses me off the most," she told Radio Sport.

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby told Stuff last month Tuivaiti hadn't gained a trial because of fitness concerns.

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It is understood there were also issues about Tuivaiti's shooting volume, sometimes being outshot by her Pulse goal attack, her ability to cope with leading Australian defenders and a lack of variety in her shooting game.

The Silver Fern selectors have moved on from Tuivaiti, awarding trial spots to New Zealand under-21 shooters, Pulse teenager Tiana Metuarau, Magic's Monica Falkner and Stars' goal shoot Maia Wilson, who has played five tests already.

"We've looked long and hard at all of the data and information that we have and we know going forward what we need to have from the players is really critical," Southby told Stuff last month.

"[Silver Ferns' strength and conditioning coach] Stephen Hotter informs of us where players need to be across the squad and we'll be looking to really drive those standards."

Tuivaiti was disgusted by the way she had been treated by NNZ and said it wasn't good enough from the national body.

"The process is really upsetting. I don't think we need to be treating people, let alone our own netballers like this. I'll always be a Silver Fern. I'm gunning for them and I hope they do well," she told Radio Sport.

Tuivaiti was approached by the Thunderbirds, who were awful in the first year of Super Netball, winning just one of their 14 games and finishing last out of eight teams.

The experienced shooter could face a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a nasty knee injury for the Pulse last Friday during the third and fourth playoff of the Super Club tournament in Nelson.

She has had scans on her knee and was awaiting results to find out the extent of the damage.

Tuivaiti moved to the Pulse this season from her hometown Mystics in Auckland in an effort to regain her best netball and put herself into Silver Ferns contention.

She was a key contributor in helping the Pulse finish second on the ladder and earn a place in the grand final, which they lost to the unbeaten Southern Steel.

Moving to the Thunderbirds was a tough call, but it had been made easier after missing out on a Silver Ferns trial.

"I know it looks pretty dodgy and there is a certain part, 'If Netball New Zealand don't want me, I may as well go somewhere I'm a little more valued'," she said.

"It isn't a decision I've made lightly, but I'm pretty excited about my new journey."

 - Stuff

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