'We've dug ourselves a hole' - Silver Ferns coach issues rallying cry ahead of England decider

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NZN

Netball is a fairly simple game, Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby says, and she wants to see her team return to doing the basics well in tomorrow's 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

The Taini Jamison Trophy series is level at 1-1, England bouncing back for a 49-46 win in Napier on Sunday after New Zealand took the opening Test 62-55 in Wellington last Thursday.

Southby's squad is light on experience, particularly in the midcourt, and were outpaced in the second Test by a pacy and accurate English attack.

The Silver Ferns did well to battle back from seven goals down midway through the third quarter to take a two-goal lead into the last 10 minutes.

That they couldn't kick on from there was particularly disappointing, Southby said.

"I think the big thing for us is actually just staying calm under pressure. We fought back from being down, and then we gave up the lead again," she told NZ Newswire.

"That's just not good enough at this level.

"We got caught standing, we didn't do the work we needed to do to get the ball and get them off our backs."

Southby says the Silver Ferns know what they need to do to beat England, who have now won two of their last three Tests against New Zealand after a 49-45 Quad Series win in Auckland two weeks ago.

"It's about keeping possession, it's about making sure you score off the ball you have, and it's about making it really hard for the opposition," she said.

"It's not that hard, we've just made it really hard for ourselves.

"We've dug ourselves a bit of a hole, and we've got to dig ourselves out of it."

Wing defence Claire Kersten, called in as injury cover for the Napier Test, has returned to Wellington, and 21-year-old goal attack Monica Falkner has taken her place in the 12-strong squad.

Southby has made it clear her long-term focus is centred on developing a winning squad for next year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool.

But that's not to say she's willing to accept anything less than a victory at Claudelands Arena.

"We're trying to keep the big picture in mind, but certainly losing isn't part of that picture."

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