Accuracy key as Silver Ferns hunt Test win

Oct 18, 2016 - 4:46 AM Actions might speak louder than words, but not for the Silver Ferns as they prepare for the final Constellation Cup netball Test against Australia on Thursday.

The New Zealanders trail the four-match series 2-1, and need an unlikely 25-goal win in Invercargill to wrest the Cup off holders Australia.

There had been signs of hope for the Ferns, who bounced back from a first-up 12-goal defeat in Sydney to win the second Test 53-51 in Launceston last week.

However, Sunday's 62-50 thumping by the Diamonds in Auckland put the Constellation Cup once again out of reach for the Silver Ferns, who have held the trophy just once in the past seven seasons.

Assistant coach Yvette McCausland-Durie says there's still plenty at stake in the final Test, the serious work beginning on Tuesday with a stop-start training session which focused more on instruction than on-court action.

"We were going over clarity of structure - what were the things we did well in Test two, and what were the little details we went away from in Test three which created that confusion and real disconnect for us," McCausland-Durie told NZ Newswire.

"In tomorrow's practice, we hope to be able to talk less and allow them to get that flow, intensity and accuracy."

McCausland-Durie and coach Janine Southby are looking for more patience in the fourth Test, a willingness to work the ball around rather than trying to nail the direct route to goal every time.

"It doesn't matter about scoring quickly, the key is actually to score," McCausland-Durie said.

"That means being a lot more patient on attack and being prepared to work a lot longer and harder to get the ball to where we want."

Defensively, the Silver Ferns couldn't repeat the havoc they wreaked in the second Test, when the return of Anna Harrison played a big part in disrupting the Diamonds' path to impressive shooter Caitlin Bassett.

The addition of 1.91m goal attack Gretel Tippett to partner the 1.93m Bassett in the shooting circle created a whole new set of problems for New Zealand.

The Silver Ferns couldn't shut down Australia's smoother, quicker feed into the circle, and weren't allowed to reclaim the same speed or space on attack they'd found in Launceston.

"Defensively, we were not as effective in terms of our dictating - we ended up following and reacting," McCausland-Durie said.

"They were certainly really physical - they worked hard to push us together into small spaces so we felt kind of tight with the ball.

"They did a good job - all the things that we'd try to do to them, they did to us."

Source: AAP

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