Grant on Ferns flop: We must stay together
Four-nil is not how we want our season to finish up.
The Silver Ferns are selfdestructing on the court, but skipper Katrina Grant is determined to ensure her side won’t implode off it as the pressure mounts following another dismal Constellation Cup performance.
Questions are being asked of the culture in the New Zealand camp after they slumped to a 55-43 loss to a rookie Diamonds line-up in the third netball test in Adelaide on Wednesday night.
The result saw Australia take a 3-0 lead in the four-test series, wrapping up the Constellation Cup for the fifth straight year.
With the scorelines across the series growing from four goals in last week’s opener in Auckland, to eight in Christchurch, to 12 in the third test, the gap between the two sides appears to be widening with every outing.
The Ferns now head into this weekend’s final test in Sydney staring down the barrel of a series whitewash for just the second time in the eights seasons the Constellation Cup has been in play.
Grant said Wednesday’s “demoralising” performance in Adelaide needs to prompt some tough conversations and soul-searching in the team, but what the team can’t allow to happen is the self-destructive blame game to set in.
“We know we need to stay
“As a team, you have to take the good together and you have to take the bad together and that’s what we’re doing now — it’s the only way to learn.”
After a series as woeful as this Constellation Cup has been for the New Zealand side, there is a danger that in the lead-up to tomorrow’s final test in Sydney, the Ferns mentally consign their season to the bin and focus on starting afresh in 2018.
Grant said with the Commonwealth Games less than six months away, it is crucial her side start putting things right tomorrow.
“Absolutely [ our fightback] has to start now. Four-nil is not how we want our season to finish up. We have a lot of pride in the black dress — I know people will be questioning that now — but we take it seriously and we are desperate to do everything we can this weekend,” she said.
“The bigger picture of April is going to be a lot tougher if we don’t sort it out now.”
Not only is a strong performance in Sydney important in the context of restoring confid- ence to the young New Zealand side, the pressure is also on individuals to step up and deliver to ensure they remain in the selectors’ plans.
With players such as Grace Rasmussen, Claire Kersten and a now-fit Michaela SokolichBeatson waiting in the wings, another capitulation this weekend could put spots up for grabs in January’s Quad Series tour to South Africa.
“Our places in the team are not set in stone and every single one of us need to step up if we’re to make that team in April.
“We’re all on trial, and that’s why we all need to step up and show that we’re actually good netball players when we work together,” said Grant.
Skipper Katrina Grant