'All the teams have put their hands up' - Silver Ferns coach says new national premiership is brimming with talent

Netball's new national premiership has given Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby a fresh perspective as she prepares to name her squad for this year's jam-packed international calendar.

Southern Steel proved runaway winners in the inaugural edition of the six-team premiership, which replaced the trans-Tasman league after nine seasons.

They outplayed Central Pulse 69-53 in Invercargill last night, completing a 16-match unbeaten season in imperious fashion.

Tomorrow, Southby will name up to 28 players to trial in Auckland on July 31-August 4.

Three days later she will select her squad for the September Quad Series against England, South Africa and Australia and the Taini Jamison Trophy, against England.

The Silver Ferns team to meet Australia in the four-Test Constellation Cup series will be named after the earlier series.

Southby believes New Zealand has lost little and gained plenty with the demise of the trans-Tasman league, particularly with the introduction of a wider range of younger netballers to elite netball.

"I think we've seen a number of players over the whole season up against different opponents," she told NZ Newswire.

"What we've seen is they've been challenged - when you play a team three times, you have to keep changing your game because if you don't, you get found out.

"I think the good thing from my point of view is that the teams have kept changing their games, they've kept growing, and that's where we're getting success from."

Few teams could match the consistency the Steel displayed, even when they lost four front-line players late in the season after their team was involved in a collision at a Christchurch intersection.

Skipper Wendy Frew and goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit only returned for yesterday's final, and Southby says the depth on the Steel bench played a key role in their success.

"I think all the teams have put their hands up at different times over the season," she said.

"But I think the Steel have been really consistent this year - they benefited from settled combinations that have come back.

"Some of them are in their fourth or fifth year together, and they understand what it takes."



Most read story: 'I am extremely devastated' - Silver Ferns star Maria Folau apologises for 'insensitive' self-harm comments

This story was first published on Tuesday September 18.

Silver ferns Maria Folau (C looks to shoot during the Netball Quad Series Silver Ferns vs South Africa at the ASB Baypark arena in Tauranga on Tuesday the 18th September 2018. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz
Silver Ferns shooter Maria Folau in action against South Africa during a Quad Series match in Tauranga. Source: Photosport

Silver Ferns star shooter Maria Folau has apologised for making a comment about self-harm, following her side's Quad Series loss against England on Saturday.

Folau was asked about her side's performance in the shooting circle when they were outclassed by England 52-39, with the veteran shooter making the self-harm comment on television.

"I'm not slitting my wrists in the room or anything and neither are the other shooters as well, we've just got to get on with it," said Folau.

The 31-year-old was criticised for her comments by the public.

She told the Herald she was sorry for the "insensitive comment" and said she didn't mean to offend anyone.

"I wish to apologise for my insensitive comment on Newshub last night, I in no way meant to upset and offend people," said Folau.

"I am extremely devastated, and I understand the serious issue that New Zealand has with suicide rates."

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TODAY'S
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'We looked like a team' - Noeline Taurua delighted after earning first win as Silver Ferns coach

The Silver Ferns have earned their first win in the Quad Series, thumping South Africa 61-37 in Tauranga last night in their second match of the tournament.

New Zealand bounced back from a 13-points loss to Commonwealth Games champions England on Saturday, looking more in sync under their new coach Noeline Taurua.

Maria Folau was solid for the Silver Ferns landing 35 out of 37 in the shooting circle.

Defenders Katrina Grant and Jane Watson were outstanding with their defensive efforts last night, limiting South Africa's attack.

"There were moments when we looked like a team and worked for each other so I am wrapped," said Taurua.

"We actually kept possession of the ball and that was the key also we need to turn over ball as much as we can.

"I thought we started the first quarter really well."

New Zealand take on the Australian Diamonds next in the Quad Series at Hisense Arena in Melbourne on Sunday.

Noeline Taurua earned her first win as NZ coach with her side defeating South Africa 61-37. Source: SKY

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Ruthless England dominate Silver Ferns in Quad Series blowout

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of this Quad Series clash between the Silver Ferns and the England Roses from Spark Arena in Auckland.

FULLTIME - SILVER FERNS 39 ENGLAND ROSES 52

England were just too good for the Silver Ferns in the final quarter. Their defence was key to their win, earning themselves several turnovers at will. England scored 14 points in the final quarter with New Zealand only able to convert five points.

QUARTER 4 - 55 mins: SILVER FERNS 37 ENGLAND ROSES 46

Karin Burger enters the game for NZ at wing defence - making her debut for the Silver Ferns.

QUARTER 4 - 53 mins: SILVER FERNS 36 ENGLAND ROSES 46

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Te Paea Selby Rickit in action for NZ during the Quad Series Netball Test match between New Zealand Silver Ferns and England Roses on September 15, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images)
Te Paea Selby Rickit in action for NZ during the Quad Series Netball Test match between New Zealand Silver Ferns and England Roses in Auckland. Source: Getty

England now have a double digit lead over NZ. Maria Folau has been subbed off with Ameliaranne Ekenasio replacing her at goal-attack.

QUARTER 4 - 51 mins: SILVER FERNS 34 ENGLAND ROSES 43

England have a nine-point lead with NZ coming up several errors early in the final quarter.

QUARTER 4 - 48 mins: SILVER FERNS 34 ENGLAND ROSES 40

England score off another NZ centre-pass after another NZ error with a Maria Folau passing the ball straight to Serena Guthrie.

QUARTER 4 - 45 mins: SILVER FERNS 34 ENGLAND ROSES 38

Silver Ferns skipper Laura Langman has moved to centre and gets the final quarter underway. 

QUARTER 3 - 45 mins: SILVER FERNS 34 ENGLAND ROSES 38

Te Paea Selby-Rickit misses her first shot of the match but gets the rebound and converts her second attempt. NZ get a turnover late in the quarter but appears Maria Folau wasn't aware of how much time was on the clock. A missed chance to close the gap - England lead 38-34.

QUARTER 3 - 44 mins: SILVER FERNS 31 ENGLAND ROSES 38

England get a role on and have scored the last three goals. After a good steal by NZ's defender Jane Watson the Silver Ferns are unable to convert down the other end.

QUARTER 3 - 40 mins: SILVER FERNS 29 ENGLAND ROSES 34

Elisapeta Toeava enters the game - making her debut for the Silver Ferns on wing attack.

QUARTER 3 - 37 mins: SILVER FERNS 26 ENGLAND ROSES 30

Katrina Grant of New Zealand competes against Serena Guthrie of England. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Netball, New Zealand Silver Ferns v England, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, Australia. 11 April 2018 © Copyright Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz
Katrina Grant of New Zealand competes against Serena Guthrie of England. Source: Photosport

England's goal keeper Geva Mentor makes a great read to get an intercept. England extend their lead over NZ 30-26.

QUARTER 3 - 32 mins: SILVER FERNS 23 ENGLAND ROSES 23

New Zealand level the scores with a successful shot by Maria Folau.

QUARTER 3 - 31 mins: SILVER FERNS 21 ENGLAND ROSES 23

And we are back underway! New Zealand in possession of the ball to start the quarter but they lose the ball straight away and England make them pay. 

HALFTIME - SILVER FERNS 21 ENGLAND ROSES 22

Maria Folau has a chance to level the scores with her easiest shot at goal but she misses her attempt. The Silver Ferns show great fight in the second quarter and trail England 22-21.

QUARTER 2 - 29 mins: SILVER FERNS 21 ENGLAND ROSES 22

Katrina Grant creates a two turnovers in the space of a minute and her team have a chance to level up the scores if they can get it into the shooting circle. 

QUARTER 2 - 28 mins: SILVER FERNS 20 ENGLAND ROSES 21

England have been relentless on defence and secure another turnover. They have been giving the home side real trouble inside the shooting circle. But the Silver Ferns are starting to find their groove - closing the gap.

QUARTER 2 - 20 mins: SILVER FERNS 14 ENGLAND ROSES 16

Some great ball movement from the Silver Ferns as Sam Sinclair delivers a perfect pass to Ameliaranne Ekenasio who converts for NZ.

QUARTER 2 - 16 mins: SILVER FERNS 10 ENGLAND ROSES 14

And we are back underway! The Ferns get a turnover and the pull the deficit back to just four points. 

QUARTER 1 - 15 mins: SILVER FERNS 8 ENGLAND ROSES 13

A lot of errors in the first quarter and the visitors are up 13-8. The pace of the game is somewhat slower compared to the South Africa and Australian Diamonds match.

QUARTER 1 - 10 mins: SILVER FERNS 4 ENGLAND ROSES 9

Troubling times for the Ferns as England are forcing the home team to shoot long inside the shooting circle. The visitors have a comfortbale lead of 9-4 with five minutes remaining in the match.

QUARTER 1 - 6 mins: SILVER FERNS 3 ENGLAND ROSES 5

Some good defence from England as they force NZ to turn the ball over. 

QUARTER 1 - 3 mins: SILVER FERNS 2 ENGLAND ROSES 2

The scores are level after England make a mistake at the middle of the court to hand the ball back to the Ferns. Ameliaranne Ekenasio has converted one shot with Maria Folau landing a long range goal.

QUARTER 1 - SILVER FERNS 0 ENGLAND ROSES 0

And we are underway with the Silver Ferns with possession to start match. Maria Folau misses her first shot at goal and England get the rebound and move the ball quickly down the court.

PREVIEW

A new dawn rises on the Silver Ferns and New Zealand netball with Noeline Taurua taking charge of the side following a disastrous final 10 months under Janine Southby.

Taurua's first test comes in the shape of Commonwealth Games gold medallists England.

New Zealand will be bolstered by the return of legends Casey Kopua, and Laura Langman - who will assume the captaincy as she makes her international comeback.

It's not all positives for the Silver Ferns with star defender Temalisi Fakahokotau ruled out for the rest of the year with a ruptured ACL.

TEAMS

New Zealand: Karin Burger, Gina Crampton, Aliyah Dunn, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Maria Folau, Katrina Grant, Laura Langman (c), Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Sam Sinclair, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson, Elisapeta Toeava, Jane Watson.

England: Ama Agbeze (c), Jade Clarke, Kadeen Corbin, Sasha Corbin, Jodie Gibson, Layla Guscoth, Serena Guthrie, Jo Harten, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Helen Housby, Geva Mentor, Chelsea Pitman.


Copycats? Aussies unveil netball captain for Quad Series... after a team vote

Caitlin Bassett's retention as Australian netball captain came down to a team vote, coach Lisa Alexander has confirmed.

In an unexpected revelation ahead of the Quad Series starting in Auckland on Saturday, Alexander said the Diamonds canvassed players via a 3-2-1 voting system on a semi-regular basis to determine their skipper.

Veteran goal shoot Bassett had won the most recent election after a new-look squad gathered to prepare for the series which also features England, New Zealand and Australia's opening opponents, South Africa.

It had been widely assumed Bassett was simply retained as skipper from their most recent campaign, April's Commonwealth Games.

However, Alexander said each player had been asked to cast their votes openly to keep accountability high and allow players to clear the air.

Questions about the voting method only emerged after New Zealand's newly- appointed coach Noeline Taurua this week revealed a voting system to unearth a captain.

Returning midcourt veteran Laura Langman topped the ballot and was unveiled today.

New coach Noeline Taurua let the players choose their leader. Source: 1 NEWS

Alexander wasn't surprised successful Sunshine Coast Lightning mentor Taurua had gone down the democratic path as it was commonly used in Australian netball circles.

"We've been doing that ourselves for a long time," she told AAP.

"Noeline is getting the opinions of her players and seeing where they stand and how they'll work together. It's a smart thing to do and will only benefit them."

Langman was named captain after a team vote led by new coach Noeline Taurua. Source: 1 NEWS

Alexander said the public nature of Australia's voting system meant nothing gets hidden between players.

The newly-elected captain or a teammate who falls short in the process can seek immediate feedback.

For example, not all of the Diamonds players voted for 30-year-old Bassett, she said.

"There are athletes that she'll know she needs to reconnect with or talk with and say 'what is it about what I'm doing that you're not happy with?

"So they can have those genuine conversations which are really important for us to move forward as a high performance team."

Alexander is relishing the prospect of a tightly-fought Quad Series.

She admits the match against England in Newcastle on Wednesday is in the back of her mind, having gone down by a solitary goal to the Roses in the final of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

However, she was reluctant to look too far beyond Saturday's opponents South Africa, coached by her long-serving Diamonds predecessor Norma Plummer.

"I'm a huge admirer of Norma, we go back such a long way," Alexander said.

"She's competitive like I am and there's no way she'll coach a team that will lie down."

Kelly Jury defends Caitlin Bassett
Kelly Jury defends Caitlin Bassett Source: Photosport