Home' Greymouth Star : August 14th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
10 - Friday, August 14, 2015
of the New Zealand Herald
Any announcements on the playing future
of some of the Silver Ferns’ veteran stars are
likely to be put on hold until the end of the
There had been speculation of a flurry
of post-World Cup retirements after this
month’s tournament in Sydney, with several
of the team’s senior players including Casey
Kopua, Leana de Bruin and Jodi Brown
thought to be considering stepping away
from international netball following the
Laura Langman, who has anchored the
Ferns midcourt for more than a decade, and
star shooter Maria Tutaia may also be getting
to a point in their careers where they are
thinking about what is next.
Netball New Zealand struck a deal with
the players’ association this year to extend
all the current squad’s contracts, which were
originally due to expire after this month’s
World Cup, until November.
Coaches Waimarama Taumaunu and Vicki
Wilson will also remain at the helm of the
national team through to the end of the year.
While the World Cup signifies the
traditional end to a four-year cycle in
international netball, it effectively falls in
the middle of the Ferns’ season, with New
Zealand still to play a four-test series against
Australia in October.
High performance manager Steve Lancaster
said the motivation to extend the contracts of
the players and, in particular, the coaches was
to provide some certainty to the programme
for the rest of the year.
“ We really just wanted to make sure we
had Wai locked in well past the World Cup,
primarily to take that off the table around
this time. We didn’t want to have that being a
distraction or something that we’re having to
worry about,” he said.
“ We thought it would be sensible to get
through the World Cup and the Constellation
Cup to have some continuity and it allows us
to do a thorough debrief process to review
our programme and management at the end
of the year.”
Lancaster said the national body also
wanted to give the players plenty of time to
contemplate their international futures, and
ensure it didn’t become a distraction for them
during the Cup.
“ We didn’t want to have it rattling around
the players’ minds that they have to make
decisions immediately after the World Cup.
“And also for us, from a selection and
contracting perspective it just takes the heat
off, have everyone contracted through to the
end of the year so there is plenty of time to
prepare for these things.
“There’ll definitely be players thinking
about their future beyond this season and
maybe even beyond the World Cup, but
we just wanted to take the pressure off that
situation and let them figure it out in their
The Constellation Cup begins in October,
with two tests in Christchurch, Auckland,
Melbourne and Perth. After the series
Netball NZ will conduct a review of the
national programme and management team.
Taumaunu is yet to signal if she wants to
stay for another term. Whether she would
have to reapply for her job is likely to be
determined by the team’s success in Sydney.
The tails are back up in
the Australian camp as they
approach the Netball World
Cup semi-finals this weekend.
After last Sunday ’s shock loss
to the Silver Ferns in pool play,
the Diamonds are much more
comfortable with how they are
tracking in the tournament,
convincing wins over England
(51-41) and South Africa (66-
31) in the second round.
Like the Ferns, Australia had
a rest day yesterday ahead of
their final-round qualification
matches tonight. New Zealand
will take on Uganda, while
Australia meet Wales. Neither
match is expected to affect
the likely semi-final meetings,
with the Ferns heading for a
showdown against England
look set to face Jamaica unless
Malawi pull off an upset against
the Sunshine Girls today.
After the Malawi Queens came
worryingly close to tipping over
the Silver Ferns on Wednesday
night, you cannot rule out the
possibility of the African side
forcing their way into the finals,
but they may struggle with the
height of Jamaican shooter
Diamonds defender Rebecca
Bulley believes her side is well
prepared to take on either nation.
“That loss to New Zealand was
a good wake-up call. We’ve come
together as a team, we really
enjoy each other’s company and
I think that really shows out
on court with the performance
against England and then (on
Wednesday) against South
Africa as well,” Bulley said.
In preparation for tomorrow ’s
semi-finals, Australia have paid
particular attention to how they
can combat the threat of the
Aiken is no stranger to the
having played eight seasons of
trans-Tasman league netball
with Diamonds captain Laura
Geitz at the Q ueensland
Firebirds. Bulley, who was also
a member of the championship-
winning Firebirds side this
year, says shutting down Aiken
requires a relentless full court
“ We’ve had a look at their game
and obviously Romelda is their
big target in goal shooter so it ’s
really about the work we can do
out front to stop that ball before
it even gets to her,” she said.
Competition for places in the
Diamonds’ defensive circle for
the finals clashes is tight. At this
stage it is looking as if there will
be no room for Sharni Layton
the standout defender in
this year’s ANZ Championship
in the starting line-up, with
Geitz and Julie Corletto still the
preferred defensive pairing.
Diamonds newcomer Paige
Hadley, who has impressed in
her appearances at wing attack
so far this tournament, believes
starting spots for their finals
matches are still up for grabs.
“Definitely, I think everyone
in the 12 are strong enough to
start.” — NZ Herald
of the New Zealand Herald
Tai Wynyard might be only 17 but
he has achieved a few milestones as
a basketballer, and he is hoping for
Last year, Wynyard became
the youngster player to debut for
the Tall Blacks — he is still the
youngest in the team — and he
has also played for the Breakers
and secured a scholarship at the
University of Kentucky.
Tomorrow, he will line up in
Melbourne for the Tall Blacks in
the first of two matches against
Australia which have the huge
incentive of Olympic qualification
New Zealand are big underdogs
against a Boomers outfit stacked
with players with NBA experience,
but Wynyard believes his side’s
teamwork and team bond will give
them the edge.
“ We’ve just got to band together
as brothers and as a team and
work hard to beat them, I guess,”
Wynyard said. “ We have to want
it more than them and that ’s what
we’re going to go do.”
Coach Paul Henare is also
pushing the mantra of strength in
numbers, repeatedly saying the Tall
Blacks are not going to “out-talent ”
the Boomers to victory.
“ We’re undersized, there’s no
secret about that,” he said. “O ur
only true big is (centre) Rob Loe.
“ Two of our for wards who get
the lions’ share of the minutes are a
six (foot) five Fijian and a six-five-
and-a -half Tongan with an afro of
three inches, but what they lack in
height they make up for in the way
“They ’re intense players. Isaac
(Fotu) plays above the rim. He’s
a well-skilled player and it ’s
been great to see his growth and
Fotu was a standout during the
Tall Blacks’ games in the Stankovic
Cup and a key part of the team’s
victory in China last Saturday.
Henare said the team were almost
in prime condition to “give it a
good crack against the Aussies”.
Their tight-knit group is a little
looser now, as D uane Bailey is
probably out of tomorrow ’s game
following his hospitalisation for a
serious case of gastro, but possible
replacement Dion Prewster has
a history with the other Breakers
Illness and injury have forced late
reshuffles to the Tall Blacks and the
Boomers, but Australia can draft
in the likes of Patty Mills, who is
on the books of the San Antonio
Spurs, for the injured Dante Exum.
Even if the Tall Blacks do not
win tomorrow, it is critical they try
to keep things tight because the
Olympic qualifying series is over
two matches and the winner will
be decided on point differentials if
it finishes one win each.
The two teams meet again on
Tuesday in Wellington.
The odds may be stacked against
the Tall Blacks, but they have
done it before — in 2009 an
inexperienced Tall Blacks team
beat the Boomers to become first
seed for Oceania in the 2010 world
champs in Turkey.
The West Coast basketball
draw is. —
ASB Civic Centre. Duty
official: Lake Brunner
6.15pm: JP Saints v Star-
Pacers (V Logie, J Thomas).
7.30pm: Lake Brunner
Lakers v Grey High
Kahurangi (T Brownlee, JP
Saints). Flamingos a bye.
Greymouth High School
gym. Duty official: T
6.15pm: GH Thunder v
JP Bishops (D Fisher, L
Williamson). 7 .30pm: GH
Juniors v GH Bucks (T
Fahey, B Whitmore).
ASB Civic Centre. Duty
official: R Barrow.
6.15pm: JP Cardinals v
JP Marists (I Stratford, R
Barrow). 7 .30pm: GH Suns
v West Coast under-13 (C
Stanton, E Phillips).
Greymouth High School
gym. Duty official: JP
5.45pm: GH Pounamu
v GH Tawa (P Gilbert, E
Ramsden). 7pm: JP Halos v
GH Kowhai (M Wilkins, T
Greymouth High School
gym. Duty official: Grey
v Tropics (W Russell,
Jesters). 7 .30pm: Jesters v
Grey High (M Brownlee, P
Flamingos 101, Lake
Brunner Lakers 25. Star
Pacers 70, GHS Kahurangi
Men’s B grade: JP Bishops
62, GHS Bucks 42. GHS
Thunder 47, GHS Juniors
Men’s A grade: Jesters 72,
Geodudes 34. Tropics 65,
GHS Green 48.
Women’s B grade: JP
Halos 68, GHS Pounamu
60. GHS Kowhai 61, JP
Angels 48. GHS Tawa 66,
GHS Rata 63.
Mens C grade: GHS Suns
68, JP Cardinals 49. GHS
Magic 78, JP Marist 41.
Ferns stars get
World Cup Silver Ferns team.
Diamonds on track after Ferns upset
Young star up for next milestone
The Silver Ferns have re-enlisted
former high performance manager
Tracey Fear to help plot the team’s
bid for World Cup glory.
Fear, who left Netball NZ in
2012 after 16 years, is helping the
Ferns behind the scenes as a video
and stats analyst.
The former Silver Ferns defender
now lives in Sydney after taking
up a role with Netball NSW two
years ago. She left the organisation
at the end of last year to become
director of sport at a top Sydney
The opportunity to be involved
in the Ferns’ World Cup campaign
came after Netball NZ manager
Esther Molloy contacted Fear to
see if the school had a suitable
training venue for the New
It did not, but Fear said if she
could be of any use, she would be
happy to help.
Before she knew it, she was
perched at the top of the stands in
Sydney’s Allphones Arena with a
video camera and a laptop.
Fear has played down her role,
saying she is just giving the
coaching staff and performance
analyst Bobby Willcox a few
insights that might not be as
obvious at court level.
“It’s just a different perspective
end on (the court), and a different
view of the world. When you’re up
close and personal it’s not quite the
same, so I’m just taking some stats
and looking for trends,” Fear said.
Fear, who was born in Canberra
but moved to New Zealand as a
teenager, said she was enjoying the
chance to wear the silver fern again.
“Moving to Australia at the start
of 2013, I thought, ‘ Well, that ’s it,
I have to see red now,’ as in red
Swifts, and that was exciting, but it
is very good to be back in black,”
Fear is impressed with what
she has seen from the team over
the past week — particularly last
Sunday ’s 52-47 win over Australia.
While the Ferns have had a couple
of shaky outings against Jamaica
and Malawi since then, Fear
said that was to be expected in a
“For them to be so composed was
fantastic, but I think we’ ll probably
go up and down but we’ll go up
again and we’ll be ready for the
grunty bit at the end of the week.”
Despite the addition of Fear,
the Australian support team still
dwarfs that of New Zealand. The
Diamonds have 13 staff for the
Sydney tournament, including a
wellbeing manager and recovery
The Ferns have seven.
Fear back in black to help trophy bid
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