Silver Ferns to rebuild for World Cup

New Zealand’s well-documented shooting woes aren’t the only area of concern for Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu.

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While midcourt stocks are at encouraging levels, Taumaunu says the defensive end of the court could also do with some bolstering.

With the netball World Cup in Sydney just nine months away, there’s not much down time for Taumaunu to dwell on New Zealand’s much-improved second Test performance against England.

After losing the first Test 38-42 in Rotorua on Tuesday, the Silver Ferns stormed back in Palmerston North on Friday with an emphatic 52-38 win.

Evergreen goal shoot Irene van Dyk’s retirement and goal attack Maria Tutaia’s season-ending foot injury has exposed a lack of depth in the shooting circle.

Bailey Mes, Jodi Brown and Ameliaranne Wells converted a dire 62 per cent of their shots in Rotorua, but Cathrine Latu and Brown impressed in Palmerston North with 83 per cent accuracy.

Taumaunu admits New Zealand needs to build shooting depth, but says she doesn’t believe much more could have been done earlier.

“When you’re fortunate enough to be able to call on Maria and Irene for 10 years, it doesn’t matter what’s been going on underneath, they’re going to be the ones you put on court.

“This day was coming.”

It’s been a challenging year for the Silver Ferns. Their gold medal loss to Australia at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games was followed by four straight losses in the Constellation Cup, and capped off by the defeat at English hands in Rotorua.

Taumaunu is taking the weekend off to unwind from what she describes as a pretty tough three months, but after that it’ll be straight back to work.

“We need to think about the next eight months leading into the world champs and the changes we need to make,” she said.

“We’ll be starting that on Monday.”