Silver Ferns changing things up
Wed, 24 Oct 2012 6:40p.m.
By Ross Karl
Such a controversial word in rugby circles, rotation has become a major talking point in netball.
After losing by 20 points to Australia with an experimental line up, Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu says she has no choice but to use it to build depth.
“I have to take that responsibility, but ultimately in four years' time if there was a similar issue to Dan Carter ultimately it would be my responsibility to find a replacement,” she says.
Taumaunu cites fourth choice Stephen Donald kicking the winning penalty at last year's Rugby World Cup.
For her, losing Irene van Dyk, Laura Langman or Casey Williams would be equivalent to the All Blacks not having the likes of Dan Carter, and Taumaunu admits competing without them against Australia's depth is tough.
“Our playing numbers are fewer than almost all of their ANZ franchises in terms if the number of members they draw from. Our entire national team is taken from fewer registered members than that,” she says.
And with tomorrow's opposition, third-ranked England not in the same league, Taumaunu is forced to blood the likes of Cathrine Latu and Kayla Cullen against Australia.
“We're getting there at the defensive end. I think once we have people coming back into the fold next year we'll have more in the mid-court and putting Catherine Latu on and developing her and some under-21 shooters that'll do it at the front end as well.”
Latu admits it's a tough learning curve.
“We're trying new things and it didn't work out as well as we'd wanted, but now we know - now we know what we need to work on, so there are two sides to every coin,” she says.
Today Camilla Lees trained at goal attack, while Cullen remained at centre and Jodi Brown shot with Irene van Dyk, yet another possible combination.
“I realise it's controversial but I do think having depth in all those positions is important,” says Taumaunu.
But if they also become world champions in 2015, few will question Taumaunu's planning.
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