Dame Noeline Taurua explains Silver Ferns options

From the Bridget Tunnicliffe of RNZ

Welcome to a new era of Silver Ferns, where an athlete can become the player of the year one year and stay out the next.

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua revealed some surprises as she named its team for the Commonwealth Games.

Kate Heffernan is ready to make her debut for the Silver Ferns after being named in the 12-man squad.

The tall central / fern-defense impressed the Silver Ferns coach.

“Her ability to turn the ball upside down is definitely valuable to us and her height in the middle. She had excellent tests and probably showed the turn she made in her feeding,” said Taurua.

It was the middle ground that kept the Silver Ferns coach awake at night.

“And especially around the location of the center I was looking forward to seeing what people could do in the tests.”

Unprecedented depth meant that some tough players would lose the opportunity.

There was no room for Sam Winters and Claire Kirsten, who have been key in the middle for the past two years, although Kirsten has been named as a reserve.

The 47-test cap Winders was named Silver Ferns Player of the Year last year.

Sam Winters was one of the many surprise omissions. Photo / Photosport

Mandy Gordon and Kimiora Poi at the center of Livewire also missed the opportunity.

Taurua said there were very few in that.

“Any of these testers, if I may be honest, could have made the team and so it was close and the midfield would always be a difficult choice in the end because there are so many aristocratic midfielders.

“The Commonwealth Games are a stage, and after the next stage for us is the Netball World Cup, it is very important for people to develop their game, not to remain the same. How can they expand and improve their skill sets. “

“For us, our basic matrix is ​​the volume of shots, the feedings in the cycle, the winnings and the fewest reversals, so that is really the basis of all positions.”

Pulse constant Whitney Souness won a recall.

Sunes is known as a special attack wing, but Taurua said she would also use her in the center, along with Shannon Saunders.

“Putting her in the spotlight in my tests really showed how good she is there and, of course, we have the speed to burn with Whitney, Gina and Shannon and also her ability to feed the circle.”

Taurua said some testers were ill last week, so they could not participate or had limited time in the tests.

“So, we definitely took a look at previous performances, but we also needed to look at the load in relation to what they did at ANZ and whether they can manage the back-to-back training we do and the style of the tournament.”

Despite having an outstanding ANZ Premiership shooter season, Tiana Metuarau, who had a lot of time on the pitch in the last two international series, was sent off but was named as a reserve.

Maia Wilson and Grace Nweke were named, on the condition that Nweke receive medical leave as she returns from an ankle sprain.

Snipers Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Bailey Mes received a call after an impressive ANZ Premiership season.

Taurua said it was willing to sacrifice a little precision in exchange for volume.

“We need shooters who have intensity or could shoot. Yes, there are still questions about accuracy and I know that very well, but we can move accuracy, but definitely intensity is important to us, so the four shooters who have who are large-scale snipers. “

Tiana Metuarau was one of the stars of the Central Pulse ANZ Premiership title campaign in 2022. Photo / Photosport

Tiana Metuarau was one of the stars of the Central Pulse ANZ Premiership title campaign in 2022. Photo / Photosport

Former leader Ameliaranne Ekenasio, who struggles with time to regain her physical condition after having her second child, although not named at 12, is a reserve.

Taurua said that Ekenasio showed its order in the tests.

“What he brings to the team both on and off the field and that is unshakable. To be able to put it on the arm, it gives her more opportunity to try to overcome, to make sure that she is physically fit but also that we follow the standards that have been set to wear Silver Fern.

“There are still medical areas that Grace has to go through because she is still recovering from the injury, but I’m sure she will get over that too. But we both have Tiana [Metuarau] and Meels [Ekenasio] in the reserves if something happens “.

Kayla Johnson completed a remarkable return to international netball with her selection.

“We know how it is in the international arena. It will be a slide for the defense of the fins and the defense of the goals and we know that we can cover a faster and more mobile shot combination when it is in the circle.”

Taurua said there was no conscious attempt to add height to the team, but it was a bonus.

“I am very happy that he led a very tall team all over the pitch. One of the things I am very skeptical about is the big three we will play in the end, England, Jamaica and Australia and the defense will have to we put there, which is the zone or space marking.

“Having this extra height from the middle will definitely help us to chase the ball but also use space.”

The New Zealand coach said she was excited to have a few points difference on the side.

“There is a bit of uncertainty around that and I think we have to have a little bit of uncertainty and not be predictable.

“With the players we have today, it turned out that we have a little experience, but there is also a bit of the unpredictable and I think that will be good for us.”

The Silver Ferns will be determined to compete in Birmingham after reaching the bottom when they finished fourth in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Reserves Elle Temu and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan will travel with the team to Birmingham.

Silver Ferns Team

Shooters: Maia Wilson, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Bailey Mes, Grace Nweke * (subject to medical leave and in-game protocols)

Midfield: Gina Crampton, Shannon Saunders, Whitney Sunes, Kate Heffernan

Defense: Kelly Jury, Sulu Fitzpatrick, Kayla Johnson, Phoenix Karaka

Reservations: Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Tiana Metuarau, Claire Kersten, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Elle Temu


Dame Noeline Taurua explains Silver Ferns options

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