Silver Ferns get more than just silverware from winning Nations Cup campaign

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua says her team's triumph at the Nation's Cup in London at the weekend was about more than securing more silverware.

Dame Noeline and her squad took down a much-imporved Jamaica 67-56 in yesterday's final after beating the same opposition by 26 goals earlier in the week.

However, a more disciplined Jamaican outfit seemed up for the challenge and held the score to 30-30 at halftime, prompting Dame Noeline to make a couple of changes that proved instrumental in her side's eventual win.

Dame Noeline brought in Whitney Souness and Kimiora Poi for Gina Crampton and Shannon Saunders at the midway point - a total of 14 Test caps between Souness and Poi taking the court in place of a combined 114 from the senior pair.

Silver Ferns' Jane Watson ahead of facing South Africa in London Source: Getty

Dame Noeline told Radio New Zealand her side were calm at halftime.

"We just had to weather the storm, get better execution of the passes, put the ball into better space and make sure that we kept ball retention, and I feel that once we did that we got on top of them really fast," Dame Noeline said.

"Gina and Shannon, they pretty much set the benchmark or set the foundations for Whitney and Kimiora to come in.

"Youthful exuberance usually outshines any speed as well, and I thought they did that really well, got a lot of movement. But I also thought they were really tough on the ball and pulled a lot of penalties."

That was Dame Noeline's other big goal for the tournament - building depth.

With greats such as Maria Folau and Casey Kopua now retired and Laura Langman taking a break from the international scene, Dame Noeline has begun developing the next group of players to fill that void.

One person who impressed her immensely was shooter Maia Wilson, who shot 44-from-47 - 93 per cent - in the final to earn player of the match.

Dame Noeline said the tournament was a "coming of age series" for the shooter.

"She's made great gains in regards to the physical side and has improved so much in regards to her fitness. She's always been a smart player and has great skills, and now that she is fitter she's able to do it at a higher intensity.

"Her shooting percentages were very high and we're really pleased about her progress."

Dame Noeline was pleased with the development in other parts of the squad too.

"I'm really happy, actually, out of the whole tournament that those changes, that they made huge impact when they did take the court. And [it's] really pleasing to see, for me personally, to know what the strengths are of individuals when they're under pressure.

"Yes, we were looking to win the Nations Cup but also get valuable time to get people out on court. So it is what it is and you play your opposition and you try and make the most of it."