Taurua pushing for 20% more from Silver Ferns before World Cup

August 31, 2022

The Silver Ferns are backing themselves to elevate "multiple levels" in the 11 months they have until their Netball World Cup defence in South Africa.

Following Dame Noeline Taurua's squad selections last week, members of the team assembled in Auckland for media commitments ahead of an intense three months of netball.

Taurua named a 17-strong squad for the remainder of 2022 along with a nine-player development squad with players as the Silver Ferns prepare for their upcoming series against Jamaica next month, October's Constellation Cup against Australia and the Fast5 World Series in November.

Having returned from Birmingham with a bronze medal around their necks, Taurua said her side have a foundation to work from for the next block of games.

"The exciting thing that has come out of the Commonwealth Games is that there's a top five or six teams," Taurua said.

Having looked at that campaign along with performances of others such as silver medallists Jamaica - who soundly beat the Silver Ferns 67-51 in the Commonwealth Games semi-finals - and long-time rivals Australia and England, Taurua said she has set a clear target for her team to work towards before next year's World Cup.

Dame Noeline Taurua.

"We've got 20% that we've got to improve on, not only on performance but consistency of performance and skillsets of the individual," she said.

"That's the figure that we're looking at. Obviously, depending on the individual it's different in each area but if we can squeeze that out overall, I'll be really happy.

"But when we look at the metrics against the opposition, we're probably at least 20% behind on those skill sets out on court.

"So that gives us a starting point."

Senior shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio, back in the Silver Ferns after almost 18 months away from the court, said the side had that potential and more going forward.

"There's not even just one more level we can go but multiple levels and it's really exciting to know that and feel that," Ekenasio said.

"Who knows if we'll hit that - there's work to be done to be able to get there... but it's a really important time.

"But we've got to start putting out there what we want to be known for."

Along with Ekenasio, Taurua welcomed back defenders Jane Watson and Karin Burger to add some height and, more importantly, experience to her side. Midcourter Maddy Gordon and Elle Temu have also been included in the side.

However, she added she want disregard work that was done by others in their absence.

"Coming out of the Commonwealth Games, we want to definitely consolidate some of the combinations we did have out on court, give them more experience to grow their game and to get confidence in our own strategy - that's probably the first step," the coach said.

"And then the second step is to provide opportunities to individuals over the upcoming campaign, whether Jamaica, Fast5 or Constellation Cup, to see what they can do."

Taurua will name a Silver Ferns team for next month’s Cadbury Netball Series against Jamaica on September 7.


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