Exclusive: Players told Netball NZ’s review into horror Comm Games they lacked confidence in coaches and themselves

The Commonwealth Games was nothing but a horror show for the Silver Ferns but finally Netball NZ has some answers and solutions to ensure it should never happen again.

Don McKinnon, chairman of the review panel looking into the campaign, says there were multiple issues with the team on the Gold Coast.

"There were some real gaps in what was happening," he said.

"There was no real campaign plan - that should have been picked up by Netball New Zealand."

Head coach Janine Southby has since resigned from her role due to the campaign but made the made move before the review went public.

Netball NZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie says there will be more to the review than just the coaching staff.

"There were a number of things that came out of the review and it sort of said there wasn't one single point of contributing factor that led to the poor performance at the Commonwealth Games."

Players 1 NEWS spoke to today said the panel heard they had a lack of confidence in the coaches and themselves dating back to last year.

They also questioned Southby's philosophy of a player led culture, especially when only four of the players had been to a pinnacle event before.

Wyllie says Netball NZ will be looking further into the claims.

"There is going to be a phase two of the review and that gives us the opportunity to drill deeper."

The panel highlighted four areas that should be considered as part of that second phase, with the key issue being the eligibility rules that saw New Zealand's best player, Laura Langman, shut out from selection.

Players also questioned recently-resigned coach Janine Southby’s player-led culture philosophy. Source: 1 NEWS


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'We have to keep getting better' - Aussies not allowing themselves to be content after big win over Silver Ferns

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander won't let her side forget their Commonwealth Games heartbreak as Australia aims for a ninth-straight win against New Zealand tomorrow.

Australia are experiencing a rare period of dominance over their traditional netball rivals and will enter Townsville's Constellation Cup fixture as short as $1.10 favourites with some bookies to extend that winning streak.

But the wounds have barely healed since England's shock 52-51 defeat of the Diamonds in April to claim Commonwealth gold and Alexander says the bitter taste of that loss would be enough to stave off any complacency.

"What we've tried to engender in this group is a growth and learning mindset," she said.

"We're never where we want to be, we know we have to keep getting better.

"If we don't, and stand still, the other teams are going to catch us up which we saw in that Commonwealth Games gold medal final when England beat us by one on that buzzer."

Australia are 4-0 in Tests since then, including an emotional 52-47 defeat of England and a 57-42 win against the Silver Ferns in Brisbane on Sunday.

The Diamonds are wary of what's to come though under new coach Noelene Taurua and comeback captain Laura Langman.

The pair combined with Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett to win the inaugural Super Netball title with the Sunshine Coast.

Langman didn't play last season but was voted in as captain on her return to international netball following the Commonwealth Games.

She will surpass Irene van Dyk as New Zealand's most-capped netballer when she earns her 146th start in Townsville.

"Playing 145 Tests for your country is incredible ... I love her to bits but don't want it to be a successful game for her," Bassett said.
"We'll be working hard to shut her down."

Alexander said there were plenty of sore bodies but no injury concerns after a "pretty brutal" Brisbane encounter.

The four-Test series will be completed in New Zealand with games in Hamilton on October 14 and Wellington on October 18.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Maria Folau of the Silver Ferns passes the ball during the Quad Series International Test match between the Australian Diamonds and the New Zealand Silver Ferns at Hisense Arena on September 23, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Maria Folau of the Silver Ferns passes the ball during the Quad Series International Test match between the Australian Diamonds and the New Zealand Silver Ferns at Hisense Arena in Melbourne. Source: Getty


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Silver Ferns bemoan poor performance against Aussies - 'It's just not good enough'

The Australian Diamonds have recovered from a slow start to beat New Zealand's Silver Ferns 57-42 in the first of netball's four-game Constellation Cup series in Brisbane.

Coming into the game after winning the Quad Series with New Zealand, South Africa and England, the Diamonds struggled early but a six-goal burst in the second quarter secured them a comfortable win, their eighth straight over the Silver Ferns.

In a match where all 12 Diamonds got on the court, skipper Caitlin Bassett and goal attack Steph Wood played the first half before Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett took the court after the long break.

Bassett scored 17 from 21 shots and Wood seven from 11, while Thwaites and Tippett were perfect from 21 and 12 shots respectively.
Maria Folau led the way for the Silver Ferns, shooting 26 from 29.

Australian coach Lisa Alexander's side were a little fortunate to be level at 10-all after an error-strewn first quarter but steadied.

"We were a little bit stunned I think but we worked our way back into it which was terrific," Alexander said.

"It was quite an outlier of a quarter. To change it up at quarter-time and really put the foot down and play some good netball in that second quarter was pleasing.

"Sometimes you have to grind it out and get on with it."

The Silver Ferns' mid-game slump was particularly disappointing for the visitors, who pushed the Diamonds to five points in their Quad Series clash a fortnight ago.

Veteran New Zealand centre Laura Langman bemoaned their inability to put a full game together.

"We said right from the outset we wanted consistent performances and we definitely didn't do that today," Langman said.

"Straight after the game all of us identified those soft errors. I was guilty of a number today. It's just not good enough and not international standard.

"We've got to sort that out and that will put us in the fight when that happens."

The teams will meet again in Townsville on Wednesday before ending the series with two games across the ditch.


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Watch: Silver Ferns defenders execute unique lift technique against Aussie shooters

The Silver Ferns have been handed a heavy loss in their first Constellation Cup Test against Australia this afternoon but that didn't stop them from trying a few things late in the game.

After a tight first quarter finished at 10-10, Australia surged to 24-16 halftime thanks to their defence not allowing any easy ball into Maria Folau and Aliyah Dunn.

Despite Jane Watson and Katrina Grant doing their best to apply the same pressure at the other end, the Aussies continued to build on their advantage and took a 44-27 lead into the final quarter.

But that didn't mean Grant would stop trying. After Sulu Fitzpatrick was subbed into the game for Watson, the duo combined on two occasions for attempted lifts to block the Aussie shooters.

While neither came off, the Brisbane crowd was impressed with their efforts as they continued to fight in the game.

The Diamonds sealed the win 57-42 in the end with the next Test in the four-game series taking place on Wednesday in Townsville.


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