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

Grant backs rookie NZ shooters to shine

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/08/2016

Silver Ferns skipper Katrina Grant. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Silver Ferns skipper Katrina Grant. Stand-in Silver Ferns skipper Katrina Grant┬ásays her side's trio of novice attackers are working tirelessly to nail down a starting berth.

The Netball World Cup runners-up head into Saturday's Quad Series opener against England with a depleted squad, particularly in the shooting circle.

Three of New Zealand's four World Cup shooters will be absent in Auckland, forcing coach Janine Southby to usher new faces into the fold.

Four-cap international Ameliaranne Ekenasio will be odds-on to join incumbent Bailey Mes up front, with debutants Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Maia Wilson as cover.

Grant, who takes over as Quad Series captain from the absent Casey Kopua, hoped the loss of star shooter Maria Tutaia to injury would not hamper the side.

Ekenasio, Selby-Rickit and Wilson would all be ready come Saturday.

"They're working tirelessly to get the game plans going, to get their combinations ready, to get court time," the 29-year-old Grant said.

"I think that's the key - the more you play with each other, the better the connections get, and that makes the games much easier and seamless."

Grant expected the Roses to race out of the blocks on Saturday, and put her side under intense pressure in the opening stages.

The Silver Ferns would need to execute their game plan to perfection to secure a victory against the world No.3 outfit.

"We've had some close games against them in the World Cup and Commonwealth Games and they'll want to rectify that, to cut through and beat us," Grant said.

"I feel like we're starting from scrach, putting together a new game plan and having the confidence in each other to enjoy the moment."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon