From moving cattle to the Silver Ferns – Kelly Jury credits farm life for meteoric rise

Netball New Zealand's tallest asset Kelly Jury has come a long way from her days on her family farm in south east Taranaki, turning heads after a strong season for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and playing an instrumental part in New Zealand's under-21 Youth World Cup success in Botswana last week.

A farm girl at heart, Jury was brought up in the little town of Makahu, about 75 minutes drive from New Plymouth.

Jury says her initial move from Makahu to the big smoke (Hamilton) took a while to get used to.

"I think I've got used to it now, but first I was like 'wow there's lots of traffic and lots of noise'", Jury said.

She puts her rise in her netball career down to her parents' work ethic around the family farm.

"You could say I got a lot of my values of hard work and stuff by watching my parents, of how hard they worked to keep this place (farm) going," she said.

"So farm life out here you know, I had a great childhood. After school me and my brothers would get off the bus and get straight onto the motorbikes.

Jury admitted she doesn't have any musical or hidden talents, telling 1 NEWS "I’m still waiting to find them". Source: 1 NEWS

"We would go down to find dad and then we'll be helping dad out with whatever we could - moving stock, moving cattle and weighing lambs."

Jury plays both goal defence and goal keep and says her friends still struggle to fathom that she is a professional athlete.

"A lot of my friends feel like I'm too laid back to be a professional athlete because when they see me they think I'm really good at switching on and off from my netball life and social life."

Standing at 192cm tall, the Taranaki native has not let her meteoric rise go to her head.

"So when they see me they're like "'you're too humble to be playing that kind of netball'".

Jury was named the player of the match in New Zealand's 60-57 win against arch rivals Australia in Gabarone, Botswana last week.

The 20-year-old was named in the Silver Ferns squad for the Quad Series earlier this year, making her debut in February against England.

She's now played four times for the Silver Ferns. 

Silver Ferns' goal keep Kelly Jury of New Zealand and Bethan Dyke of Wales compete for the ball. Source: Photosport

"I'm very laid back and mum probably freaks out about that. She thinks I'm a bit too laid back at times."

She was also part of the Ferns' team that won the 2016 Fast5 Netball World Series in October.

Jury had a major setback at the start of her professional career, rupturing her Achilles the day after after signing with the Magic.

She eventually made her debut for Magic in 2016, as well as studying sport and leisure part-time at the University of Waikato.

The Silver Ferns begin their Quad Series campaign on August 27 in Brisbane against South Africa.

Jury made her debut for the Ferns in February and was named the player of the match in NZ's U21 final against Australia last week. Source: 1 NEWS

Australian Diamonds avenge Commonwealth Games loss to England, remain unbeaten in Quad Series

Australia have overcome some shaky first and last quarter periods to avenge their Commonwealth Games netball final loss to England with a 52-47 win over the Roses last night.

Trailing 14-9 late in the first quarter of their Quad Series game in Newcastle, Australia outscored England 15-10 in each of the the two middle terms to take control of the match.

They had a seven goal third quarter buffer slashed to two inside the last four minutes, but steadied down the stretch to beat England in the first clash between the nations since the Commonwealth Games.

"Obviously there was a little bit more fire in the belly but we did try and put it behind us and to play our game, Comm Games was a while ago now," Diamonds defender Courtney Bruce said.

"Really happy with what we were able to put out.

"It's just knowing that the game is not going to be won in a half for us and that we have to grind it out and do the hard work to get the outcome."

Australia are the only one of the four teams to win two out of two and will clinch the series with a win over New Zealand in the final round in Melbourne on Sunday.

Diamonds coach coach Lisa Alexander made one change to her starting seven, with Kelsey Brown, who made her debut off the bench in the previous game, starting at wing attack in place of Liz Watson.

Veterans Serena Guthrie and Geva Mentor won England plenty of ball in the first quarter.

The Roses ,who were without injured shooter Jo Harten, bolted to a five-goal advantage, before Australia scored the last two of the quarter.

Alexander made a change in the second quarter, bringing in Watson at centre in place of Kim Ravaillion.

The switch paid off, with Australian captain Caitlin Bassett seeing a lot more ball.

After having just six attempts in the first quarter, Bassett made all 11 of her shots in the second, in which player of the match Watson racked up nine of her 21 assists.

A run of five straight goals pushed the Diamonds into a lead of three and though England got back on level terms, Stephanie Wood notched the last two goals of the quarter to give Australia a 26-24 halftime lead.

Wood, who went into the match under an injury cloud, was replaced at halftime by Gretel Tippett after making ten out of her 12 shots.
England coach Tracy Neville made numerous changes between the second and fourth quarters.

The Roses struggled for fluency as Australia lifted their intensity, but found some rhythm in the last quarter.

Bassett finished with 37 out of 40, while Helen Housby led England's scoring with 29 from 35.

Australia defeated the England Roses 52-47 to remain unbeaten in the Quad Series. Source: SKY



Noeline Taurua says Silver Ferns still 'too loose' despite big win, need to step up to conquer Aussie rivals

Noeline Taurua isn't lavishing praise in her first win as the new Silver Ferns coach after her side's victory over South Africa last night.

Instead, she's demanding more from her troops with her attention already shifting to a clash with old rivals Australia.

The Silver Ferns bounced back from a record loss to England last week to record a 61-37 win over the Proteas in Tauranga last night but Taurua says there's still lots to improve on.

"Sometimes, in terms of our positioning, we were going away from the ball in the wrong side but that will come in time," she said.

"I thought on the outside, we actually looked quite good, we had a nice engine room going but also coughed up ball when we needed to keep it secure because the passes were 50/50.

"I thought in our defensive end we got great gains but there were still areas where we were too loose."

Taurua admits she's "uncertain" about where the Silver Ferns stack up against Australia but knows the game will be tougher.

"There's going to be the similarities in terms of the defensive style but I can't envisage they're going to cough up enough ball like South Africa did and the shooting percentages will be higher.

"It's a great opportunity to play up against the best... but we have to show incremental improvements."

The Silver Ferns play Australia in Melbourne on Sunday.

The new coach is happy with the result against South Africa but knows a much tougher task is coming. Source: 1 NEWS


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 /
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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