The New Zealand Silver Ferns loss to the England Roses in the Quad Series by the score of 49 – 45 in Auckland recently has Coach Janine Southby looking for silver linings, hoping the team can take away some insight from the disappointing loss on Wednesday night.
It must sting a bit like nettles to lose to the Poms for just the fifth time in 88 matches, but beyond the first quarter, England had the better of the game the entire time at Trusts Arena. The Ferns completely lost their way in the final quarter, giving the Roses a 13 – 8 advantage and they had a scoringdrought over the final three minutes.
Sometimes you freeze up a bit and we stopped the movement and the ball speed we’d been using and that had been successful for us,” lamented Southby on the loss.”People got a little hesitant to pass and once that hesitancy creeps in it gets harder and everyone has to work harder.”
Succinct, but accurate, it would seem, as the Ferns wilted in the waning moments of the game.
Ferns Captain Katrina Grant observed that England seemed to cope with the pressure at the end of a tight game better, coming from behind when the Ferns led by two with five minutes remaining.
An astute observer in the form of top New Zealand netball coach Marg Foster felt that the Ferns would have “creamed” the roses had they not been sans the services of Laura Langman, who is known for keeping a cool head when things get tight. The Ferns were also without Maria Tutaia, who was missing on bereavement leave. None of the Ferns was offering any excuses, however, and they were good sports in acknowledging the effort of the British side.
Langman is barred from playing for the Silver Ferns because of her decision to play in the Australian Netball League for the Sunshine Coast Lightning, rather than the Kiwi team in the ANZ Premiership, so, “If wishes were horses…”