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Ferns focus on attention to detail

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/08/2016 Cathy Walshe

That there is still plenty of room for improvement is a given, Southby says, particularly around pass placement and timing right through the court. © Paul Kane/Getty Images That there is still plenty of room for improvement is a given, Southby says, particularly around pass placement and timing right through the court. New Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby is thinking big by looking small ahead of Wednesday's Quad series netball match against South Africa in Hamilton.

Southby's new-look team impressed in their opening match of the four-team series with a 65-39 win over world No.3 England in Auckland on Saturday.

Despite missing some key players to injury, illness and retirement, the second-ranked New Zealanders dominated every quarter and gave Southby plenty to be happy about in her first game at the helm.

South Africa, ranked fifth in the world, aren't expected to stretch the Silver Ferns too much but Southby says there's no complacency in her team.

"We know that yes, we did some things OK against England but there's a lot of things to tidy up," she told NZ Newswire.

"The intent with which we played was pleasing but the accuracy wasn't there. That's what we're trying to work on this week."

"We've got to keep focusing on the little things that will ultimately build our end product."

The absence of defenders Leana de Bruin (retired) and Anna Harrison (calf injury), midcourter Grace Rasmussen (illness) and goal attack Maria Tutaia (foot injury) didn't help, but couldn't be used as an excuse.

That there is still plenty of room for improvement is a given, Southby says, particularly around pass placement and timing right through the court.

Rasmussen is back to full fitness for Wednesday's match, but Harrison and Tutaia are expected to take longer to return.

In the meantime, Southby says the Norma Plummer-coached South Africans will be accorded full respect as the Silver Ferns look to up their game ahead of Sunday's final quad series match against Australia in Melbourne.

"South Africa are not far off the pace - they've got some impressive shooters, a very fast, agile and fit midcourt and some rangy and experienced defenders.

"They probably haven't got the finishing, but they get a lot of ball," Southby said.

"And the experience Norma brings means they'll be working really smart about what they're going out there to do."

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