Silver Ferns pondering line up changes for series-deciding match against England

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NZN

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby won't be making any quick decisions around her squad for Wednesday's series-deciding third Test against England in Hamilton.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit of New Zealand defends against Beth Cobden of England. 2017 Netball Quad Series match, New Zealand Silver Ferns v England Roses at The Trusts Arena, Auckland, New Zealand. 30 August 2017 © Copyright Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz

Te Paea Selby-Rickit of New Zealand defends against Beth Cobden of England.

Source: Photosport

Southby made a late change for the second Test of the three-match Taini Jamison Trophy series in Napier on Sunday, opting to stand down rookie goal attack Monica Falkner in favour of boosting her defensive options.

Development squad member Claire Kersten received an unexpected call-up, and ended up playing a good chunk of the game, but the Silver Ferns were still beaten 49-46 by England to level the series.

Southby said the option of bringing in the 28-year-old wing defence had been on the cards for a while, as the Silver Ferns looked to cover a couple of niggly injuries.

"It wasn't really late notice - it had always been in the plans we've been talking about," she said.

"Claire's had an opportunity and I think she made a pretty good fist of her first interntional game."

Kersten replaced Kayla Cullen at halftime, and worked hard to rein in an England midcourt which was firing the ball through at pace.

Southby said while Kersten had picked up a couple of intercepts herself, she had also put in a lot of work in setting up chances for her teammates.

"Claire tightened it up, and we needed that. I think she put a lot of pressure on to create ball that sometimes you don't see.

"She got one or two tips herself but she certainly tightened it up in there, and that's what we needed for that style of game we were trying to play."

Cullen's return from surgery a couple of months ago to clean out a knee is still being managed, and Southby is mindful of not pushing the 38-cap defender too hard too soon as she builds towards next year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

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