Ferns coach:

The Southland Times - - Sport - Bren­don Egan

Noe­line Tau­rua hopes the rare ‘sin­bin­ning’ of Sil­ver Ferns de­fender Karin Burger serves as a valu­able re­minder to her play­ers.

Sub­sti­tute Burger was sus­pended for two min­utes with seven min­utes left in the fi­nal quar­ter of their 54-41 North­ern Quad Se­ries loss to Eng­land in Liver­pool yes­ter­day.

Goal de­fence Burger, in just her third test, was judged to have de­lib­er­ately ob­structed English shooter Jo Harten af­ter be­ing warned by the um­pires for a sim­i­lar of­fence min­utes ear­lier.

Play­ers be­ing sus­pended for two min­utes or or­dered off (to take no fur­ther part in the game) is un­usual in elite netball. Burger’s sus­pen­sion evoked mem­o­ries of for­mer Sil­ver Ferns mid­courter Te­mepara Bai­ley, who was briefly ban­ished for con­tin­ual off­side in the 2003 World Cup fi­nal against Aus­tralia in Ja­maica, a game New Zealand won 49-47.

Coach Tau­rua didn’t have any qualms with the um­pires’ rul­ing and said they had also been warned in the chang­ing room.

It was up to play­ers to be ac­count­able on court and make the ad­just­ment if they were be­ing fre­quently pe­nalised.

Burger’s brief sus­pen­sion didn’t have any huge ef­fect on the fi­nal re­sult with Eng­land up by eight goals at the time (44-36), but Tau­rua hoped it would be a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for her side.

Had it hap­pened in the crunch stages of a close match at the World Cup, it could po­ten­tially cost the Sil­ver Ferns their place at the tour­na­ment in a knock­out game. Eng­land outscored New Zealand 5-2 in the two min­utes Burger was off the court.

‘‘We could’ve been killed [on the score­board],’’ Tau­rua said.

‘‘Hav­ing one per­son down for two min­utes [the fi­nal mar­gin] could have ac­tu­ally been worse.’’

The Sil­ver Ferns plan for all types of sce­nar­ios in train­ing games, in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of a player be­ing sus­pended, but it was never an ideal sit­u­a­tion to be in.

There was no mal­ice in the play from Burger, but be­cause there had al­ready been a prior warn­ing, the um­pires, who deemed it de­lib­er­ate, were left with lit­tle al­ter­na­tive.

‘‘There’s two things that have come out of that. One is hav­ing strate­gies, so we know what we need to do if that hap­pens again and num­ber two, we need to be smarter, so that we’re not caught up in that sort of stuff,’’ Tau­rua said.

‘‘Both of those [shoot­ers] I think are out­stand­ing for Eng­land, both He­len [Housby] and also Jo [Harten] are very smart

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