You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ferns must lift for second Jamaican Test

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/09/2016 By Cathy Walshe

Bailey Mes in action against Jamaica. © Getty Images Bailey Mes in action against Jamaica. Katrina Grant is a captain in a hurry, on court and off.

But the new Silver Ferns skipper is tempering her impatience with a healthy dose of realism as New Zealand approach the second match in their three-Test series against Jamaica in Palmerston North on Wednesday.

The world No.2 Silver Ferns crushed the fourth-ranked Sunshine Girls 72-34 in Nelson on Sunday as both teams begin a rebuilding phase after last year's Netball World Cup.

Jamaica are without towering 1.95m-plus shooters Romelda Aiken and Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, while New Zealand are missing ace goal attack Maria Tutaia and experienced defender Anna Harrison through injury.

Grant, taking over from long-serving skipper Casey Kopua after the birth of her first child, has lofty ambitions for her relatively inexperienced team.

"We're rebuilding too but we were a new side four games ago," Grant said.

"Now we're starting to become a side that wants to be around for a while. We really want to consolidate, we want to be this group that enjoys ourselves but also knows how to challenge ourselves."

Apart from the unstoppable Laura Langman, who has amassed 135 caps in her 11-year career to date, only Grant with 83 caps has played more than 40 Tests for the Ferns.

The New Zealanders also have a new coaching line-up, with Janine Southby and Yvette McCausland-Durie taking over from Waimarama Taumaunu and Vicki Wilson.

The new regime was looking to test a pacy, accurate flat-line attack against the athletic Jamaicans in Nelson and their efforts earned a cautious pass mark from Grant.

"Watching the speed through court was very impressive, especially between Laura and Grace (Rasmussen)," she said.

"Those two have wheels and they really showed.

"These are the times to try new things, let the ball go and see how far we can push each other."

The win wasn't error-free but Grant is confident her team can cut back on the turnovers in Palmerston North.

"We know what to expect now and I feel like we can really rein in those mistakes, consolidate on what we're trying to do and really build."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon