Silver Ferns suffer another loss to Australian Diamonds in Constellation Cup
11 October, 2018, 4:32 pm
TOWNSVILLE,11 OCTOBER 2018 (NZ HERALD) – Another game against the Australian Diamonds, another loss for the Silver Ferns.
And it most certainly wasn’t the result skipper Laura Langman would have hoped for on the night she officially became the most capped Silver Fern – overtaking shooting legend Irene van Dyk with 146 tests to her name.
Unable to improve on their 15-goal loss to the Diamonds on Sunday, the Ferns fell to a 47-56 defeat suffering their ninth-straight loss to the world champions.
With two losses, the Diamonds now almost certainly lock away the Constellation Cup for another year with a draw the best result the Ferns can hope for.
Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua, who selected arguably a stronger and more experienced starting line-up last night after experimenting with young players such as Aliyah Dunn, labelled the loss as another learning curve for the side.
“In comparison to our first outing a couple of days ago there were some pleasing moments … we’re very clear about when things did cut loose and they were able to get a five-goal run on us,” Taurua said.
“We never like losing and I don’t, definitely, but there’s some improvements and learning that we need to pick up for the next round.”
The Silver Ferns successfully defused a slow start after falling to an early 0-6 deficit, the visitors producing a stellar fightback to even the possession stakes and edge their way back into contention.
Maria Folau was handed the starting bib at goal shoot again after showing promise in Sunday’s match paired alongside Te Paea Selby-Rickit under the hoop.
The fresh shooting duo continued to shine as the pair found great connections with midocurter Sam Sinclair keeping the Ferns in the fight throughout the second half.
Showing great patience, opportunities opened up for the Silver Ferns on attack while staunch defence at times rattled the Australians. But with just 84 (Folau) and 75 (Selby-Rickit) per cent shooting performances, it wasn’t enough to contend with the world’s best.
Displaying greater experience and composure the Australian side exposed the Ferns’ yet again to take the match in front of a passionate Townsville crowd.
The Ferns will have just four days to rest and regroup before the third test in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.