Watch: NZ’s most expensive netball injury explained by former Silver Ferns physio

Anterior Cruciate Ligament ruptures are every athlete's worse nightmare, especially netballers.

In New Zealand, 400 women rupture their ACLs annually, costing the tax payer $10.4 million - something recovered Northern Stars midcourter Holly Fowler knows all too well.

"As soon as it happened, I just knew my ACL went. I'd never had a big injury before. I was like it's gone, it's done, that's my season over for the year," Fowler said.

"Rehab was easily the most challenging thing I've ever had to go through, both physically and mentally."

But as former Silver Ferns physio Sharon Kearney explains, it's not just at an elite level.

"ACL's at an elite level are the tip of the iceberg, they're public. What we're really key and focusing on is what we call the silent ACL's, they're the ones that aren't on television."

Kearney regularly sees girls as young as 14 with ruptured ACL's.

"We know post puberty that girls land differently. When they come back to play sport post growth phase, they land, they don't bend their knees well, they don't control their limbs" she said.

Steel's Dani Gray is assisted after being injured during the ANZ Premiership netball match between the Pulse and Steel at the Te Rauparaha arena in Wellington on Wednesday the 30th of May 2018. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz
Steel's Dani Gray is assisted after being injured during the ANZ Premiership netball match between the Pulse and Steel at the Te Rauparaha arena in Wellington. Source: Photosport

Last November, Kearney took on the full time role of managing the Netball Smart Injury Prevention Programme.

She developed a dynamic warm up based on the FIFA 11 warm up, and is now used by players nationwide.

She's now seen a 13 per cent decrease in netball knee injuries and with another 6 development officers coming on board, Netball Smart hopes to reduce injuries even more.

"A key focus for us is getting into that intermediate school area so that we can actually teach the coaches to teach their kids how to jump and land well at that phase" Kearney said.

Sharon Kearney has been involved with the Netball New Zealand since 1993. She explains simply how ACL's are ruptured, and some strategies to prevent the injury from happening.

Story by 1 NEWS Sport producer Maddy Lloyd


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Silver Ferns defender Temalisi Fakahokotau's season comes to abrupt end after rupturing ACL

The Silver Ferns have suffered a serious setback ahead of their first match under new coach Noeline Taurua with experienced defender Temalisi Fakahokotau ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Fakahokotau ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during training today.

Taurua said it was a big blow to the squad.

"Temalisi is an outstanding player both on and off the court and the loss of her defensive energies will be missed by the team."

The 24-year-old was coming off a successful ANZ Premiership season leading the defensive stats in intercepts, deflections and rebounding with the Mainland Tactix.

Northern Mystics defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson has been called into the team as injury cover.

The Silver Ferns begin their Netball Quad Series on Saturday against England.

New Zealand's Temalisi Fakahokotau. Silver Ferns v Australia, Netball semi final Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. Saturday 14 April, 2018. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand's Temalisi Fakahokotau in action for the Silver Ferns in a Commonwealth Games semi-final match against Australia. Source: Photosport


Noeline Taurua not mucking around shaping up Silver Ferns – ‘If they don’t take accountability they’ll suffer’

A distinct new energy and excitement permeated through the Silver Ferns’ training session today.

The intensity was obvious but it was helped thanks to the clear message coming down from new coach Noeline Taurua.

"If they don't take accountability then everyone's going to suffer."

Taurua is tasked with rebuilding the Silver Ferns' reputation after their woeful performance at the Commonwealth Games.

Just two trainings in, she's under no illusion the process will take time.

"I'm testing and assessing players in real time so my hope is to get everybody out on court over the Quad Series.

"That's the only way we're going to be able to see if people can handle at this level."

The silver Ferns will meet England on Saturday for the first time since their 54-45 loss in pool play on the Gold Coast in April.

The new Silver Ferns coach is demanding hard work ahead of their match with England. Source: 1 NEWS

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New Silver Ferns captain to be 'elected' by players

New Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has raised eyebrows by conducting a player vote to determine the team's captain.

Days out from the first round of Quad Series Tests in Auckland, Taurua will employ a collective approach to finding New Zealand's netball skipper.

Players will be asked to vote on a 3-2-1 basis for their preferred candidate.

Taurua and chief executive Jennie Wyllie will also cast a vote.

The captain will be unveiled on Thursday.

The Ferns face England in this weekend's Quad Series opener. Source: 1 NEWS

"So, as they say, the people will speak as to who they want in those leadership roles," Taurua said.

"That's what I want to encourage, that everybody has something to say.

"We don't want wallflowers and everybody needs to contribute towards the overall strategy and the performance out on court."

Coach of the Sunshine Coast Lightning, Super Netball's two-time champions, Taurua was appointed to New Zealand's top role last month.

The Ferns' new coach is putting her side to work in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

She replaced Janine Southby after a disappointing fourth placing at the Commonwealth Games.

Katrina Grant, who was captain at the Games, backed Taurua's democratic innovation.

"Whoever the team wants as captain is who it's going to be and I think that's a great way to do it and it's fair," she told journalists.

Leading candidates include Grant, along with returning veterans Laura Langman and Casey Kopua.

The opening Quad Series Tests on Saturday pits Australia against South Africa and New Zealand against England.

Noeline Taurua has raised eyebrows with her approach to leadership. Source: 1 NEWS


Noeline Taurua 'salivating' ahead of Silver Ferns coaching debut

New Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua was a presence at her side's training in Auckland this morning, preparing for her first match in charge against England on Saturday.

Confirmed as the new coach late last month, Taurua has been tasked with seeing the Ferns back to the top of world netball, with the side having plummeted to third in the world rankings over the past 10 months.

Speaking to media, Taurua said that she was looking forward to working with such an exciting group of players.

"One thing that I was salivating over yesterday was how amazing these players play," she began.

"How creative they are, beautiful flair they have, when they have ball in hand, they're absolutely lovely to watch."

However, Taurua also said that her team aren't just content with a nice playing style, working on developing a winning edge.

"When that landscape is not free, and we don't have that space, we have something up our sleeve - just to keep ball in hand."

Taurua and the Ferns will be in action against the England Roses on Saturday afternoon at Auckland's Spark Arena.

The Ferns face England in this weekend's Quad Series opener. Source: 1 NEWS