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Jamaica to learn from NZ netball losses

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/09/2016 Cathy Walshe

It's back to the drawing board for Jamaican netball coach Minneth Reynolds after her team were beaten 66-38 by the Silver Ferns in the final match of the three-Test series in Rotorua on Saturday.

Missing two of their main strike weapons in towering shooters Jhanele Fowler-Reid and Romelda Aiken, the world No.4 Jamaicans were always going to struggle against second-ranked New Zealand.

They brought only four players from last year's bronze medal-winning side at the world championships, and were consistently outclassed.

But although Jamaica suffered significant losses - by 38 goals in the first Test, and 23 in the second - Reynolds saw enough improvement to take some encouragement into their next series against England in November.

"We have improved in defence, and attack as well, because when we are patient with that ball and we are decisive with our movements on and off the ball, we get it right," she said.

"What we have learned, the experience we've gained from this series, we can only build on."

Consistency is a key area for the Jamaicans: they could veer between very good - Saturday's 13-13 drawn first quarter in Rotorua - and dismal, as shown in the second spell of the same game which they lost 22-7.

The return of Fowler-Reid and Aiken will help immensely, but Reynolds is unsure if the duo will be available for the England series.

It makes little difference to Jamaican netball's long-term planning either way.

'We just have to keep working, because eventually Jhaniele and Romelda will not be available due to retirement.

"This a good way to start building, to start working on the younger ones. It's going to take some time, but we have time."

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