Silver Ferns looking for lift in intensity

Oct 7, 2017 - 6:02 AM There'll be no huge changes for the Silver Ferns in Christchurch when they tackle Australia in Sunday's second Constellation Cup netball Test, skipper Katrina Grant says.

She's confident a few minor tweaks, coupled with a major step-up in intensity, is all that's needed to reverse Thursday's 57-54 loss in Auckland.

The Kiwis gave away too many penalties, lacked accuracy on attack and struggled to generate turnover ball yet still managed to push the Diamonds right to the wire.

"We could have taken the game in the last minute and a half," Grant told NZ Newswire.

"We didn't play very well at all - a lot of us individuals didn't step up the way we have in the past, but we could still have won, even with that many errors."

New Zealand have won the Constellation Cup only once in its seven-year history, and that was in 2012.

They'll need to win the next three Tests, including the final two in Adelaide and Sydney next week, to steal the trophy from the world champions.

Grant is confident it won't take much to get the ball rolling with a win in Christchurch.

"You don't want to change too much, but there were a couple of things," she said.

"Transition from attack to defence is definitely one we need to work on, and then just picking up ball in our defensive end - just attacking it, not sitting back and waiting for them to come to us."

Still smarting from last month's 57-47 loss to New Zealand in Invercargill, Australia have since worked hard on their through-court defence, and their defensive third benefited in Auckland.

Courtney Bruce, April Brandley and Gabi Simpson picked up five intercepts and 15 deflections between them while the Kiwis could manage only one intercept - to centre Sam Sinclair - and six deflections from their back-third defenders.

"Aussie had obviously seen what we did in Invercargill, and shut a few things down," Grant said.

"Their defenders came out a lot more than they did in Invercargill, and they were a lot cleaner too.

"All of us need to step up and put a lot of pressure through court to get the gains and when we get them, take it down, look after the ball and score."

Source: AAP

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