Netball NZ still suffering from Comm Games disaster as ANZ Premiership launches

New Zealand Netball launched the second installment of their domestic competition today, but it's the hangover from their worst Commonwealth Games that they're still suffering from.

The issue of who will be the next coach of the Silver Ferns was a topic that overshadowed the launch of the ANZ Premiership, with previously unwanted coach, Queensland-based Noeline Taurua not ruling out taking on the head coaching job.

However, NZ Netball CEO Jennie Wyllie says she hasn't spoken to Taurua.

"I haven't had any conversations with Noeline, but she has been a massive advocate for the Silver Ferns and she is speaking from the heart when she talks," Wyllie said.

While the ANZ Premiership is designed to shoot ahead Kiwi talent, it seems overseas players are reaping all the rewards, with English player Ama Agbeze one of the imports taking advantage.

"I personally am glad that England let us play abroad, but every organisation is different so it's for the organisations to decide," Agbeze told 1 NEWS.

New Zealand's import rules allow one player per team while Australia's Super League has an unlimited cap.

England’s captain Ama Agbeze was at the domestic competition launch, she was part of the England side that won Commonwealth Games gold earlier this month. Source: 1 NEWS


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'She's really convincing' - Silver Ferns upbeat about new regime ahead of Aussie challenge

A New Zealand team targeting Australia's scalp in the Quad Series have been described as a superior outfit under the new regime of Noeline Taurua and Laura Langman.

In-form wing attack Gina Crampton says the Silver Ferns environment is more positive under new coach Taurua, having laboured for four years during the reign of predecessor Janine Southby.

Successful Sunshine Coast Lightning mentor Taurua and skipper Laura Langman, the veteran midcourter back wearing black after two seasons away, appear to be making a difference.

New Zealand opened the Quad Series with a flat 52-39 loss to England in their first Test since the disastrous fourth placing at the Commonwealth Games.

Improvements were obvious in Tuesday's bounce-back 61-37 defeat of South Africa, the winning margin seven goals better than what Australia achieved against the Proteas.

The Diamonds' subsequent 52-47 win over England means New Zealand must win the trans-Tasman clash in Melbourne on Sunday by at least five goals to have any chance of snatching the Quad Series crown.

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

Crampton, who was dropped by Southby ahead of the Commonwealth Games, said Taurua's impact had been immediate.

"I think it feels a lot more positive. I guess everyone's aware that it's trying to be a fresh start and be on the up wave," she told Sky Sport.

"She's really convincing. Anything she says, the whole team's on board and buys in. I think that's really important."

Crampton was initially surprised at how intensive Taurua had made her training sessions so close to the start of the Quad Series but said that was now paying off.

New Zealand's midcourt was more fluent against the Proteas, with player of the match Crampton feeding the shooters brilliantly in conjunction with Langman, who was restored to her familiar role of centre.

Crampton said 32-year-old Langman's professionalism and authority was inspiring.

"She's such a leader, she really takes control whether it's on attack or on defence. She talks a lot and everyone's learning a lot from her."

Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman takes a pass during the Netball Quad Series in a match between the Silver Ferns and 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 captain Laura Langman takes a pass during the Netball Quad Series in a match between the Silver Ferns and South Africa at the ASB Baypark arena in Tauranga. Source: Photosport

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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


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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 / 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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