In this week’s column, Tamsin Greenway is looking forward to his series three Vitality Roses test against New Zealand, which kicks off on Wednesday live at Sky Sports.
Passionate? Me. It’s amazing to have northern hemisphere netball on the horizon and talk about British players preparing to step onto the international court.
That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy watching and discussing ANZ Premiership and Suncorp Super Netball, but it would be great to see talent come from this part of the world and how they do it against world champions.
The fact that this tour is taking place, in today’s environment, will require a lot of work and a lot of work has been done.
Jess Thirlby couldn’t come out and join the team This is a very unique and strange situation for him and the team to experience, the quarantine process that the British players are going to go through will be very strange for all of them too.
Overall, everyone is very grateful to those who have been able to make this international series happen on the world stage. The last few months have really shown how adaptable people can be, I’m definitely experiencing that in my role as Scotland head coach and moving forward, I know we all have to keep adapting as best we can.
In a new episode Out of court, I asked Jess about her goals for the series and it was really interesting to hear her thoughts and goals. He shared that this would be a show, and a development tour, for Vitality Roses.
On the face of it, performance and development don’t go hand in hand, but the truth is with the eight missing Roses players playing on Suncorp Super Netball, this group of players has a huge development focus. However, in international netball you can never escape that performance element.
The Vitality Rose of New Zealand vs England – Live on Sky Sports
|First Test||Wednesday, October 28th||Live from 6am on Sky Sports Main and Mixed Events|
|Second Test||Friday, October 30th||Live from 6am on Sky Sports Main and Mixed Events|
|Third Test||Sunday, November 1st||Live from 6 a.m. on the Main Sky Sports, Arena and Mixed Events|
For England, gone are the days where it is possible to lose by 15 or 20 goals, you have to look at performance all the time and go out to win every game. I’ve toured in the past, knowing that with a squad we picked up a lot more about damage control on the scoreboard….
Jess talks about England going out and getting the win, and her team taking everyone by surprise as a result. When you look at the Silver Ferns squad, and add to the fact that it’s at home and they’ve had a full ANZ Premiership season, that’s a huge demand for the England squad. However, given the talent that is available, they need to believe that they can do it.
England Vitality Roses Squad for a New Zealand tour
|Player||Defending the national team||Player||Defending the national team|
|Eleanor Cardwell||27||George Fisher||12|
|Kadeen Corbin||70||Sophie Drakeford-Lewis||2|
|Yasmin Parsons||3||Laura Malcolm||28|
|Serena Guthrie||98||Gabriella Marshall||6|
|Jade Clarke||176||Imogen Allison||0|
|Amy Carter||4||Fran Williams||13|
|Raids Quashie||12||Vicki Oyesola||4|
|Jodie Gibson||25||Halimat Adio||3|
In both teams, there are a number of different players I would love to see when brought to court. Starting with the British Vitality Rose and the circle of defense I want to focus on.
Back at the Vitality Nations Cup, there are always experienced defenders in the circle, whether it’s Kate Shimmin or Stacey Francis, who are on top. This time Razia Quashie, Fran Williams, Halimat Adio, and Vicki Oyesola will do it themselves. Jodie Gibson was also to some extent, as he came back from an old game injured.
I am very happy to see what they can do. As a defensive unit, and especially a younger defensive unit, you enter the international netball arena under much less pressure than a young offensive unit. I want to see if these players have done their homework to face the Kiwi team and if they are brought to court in a fearless manner.
One of the things that came to my attention when dealing with Vitality Roses, was WA’s position. Looking at the squad, I suspect that Laura Malcolm will use that bib and I’m just not sure if moving forward is her optimal position in international netball.
I love Laura as a C / WD, and I believe that is where she thrives. I hope they have given him many opportunities in training and helped him develop that role since they got back together. Building the connections and having the confidence to lead is vital in that position, especially against New Zealand. If anyone was up to the challenge, Laura was ready.
During the series, I would also like to see Yasmin Parsons given some time on the WA bib to see if she will become a real contender to get the place itself moving forward. Chelsea Pitman won’t be around forever, and Nat Haythornthwaite plays in both positions, so I think England need to find another WA who can step up and challenge.
Regarding the Silver Ferns, I am quite surprised by Dame Noeline Taurua’s squad, but in a great way because it shows me how much work they have put into increasing the depth of their talent.
We all know they had some very important players who retired last year – Maria Folau, Casey Kopua and Laura Langman – and in this series they have also lost other players either through injury or for other reasons, as Phoenix Karaka expected it to. the first child and Kimiora Poi were not selected.
Silver Fern Troop
|Karin Burger||Gina Crampton|
|Ameliaranne Ekenasio (captain)||Monica Falkner|
|Sulu Fitzpatrick||Kelly Jury|
|Claire Kersten||Shannon Saunders|
|Whitney Souness||Jane Watson|
|Sam Winders||Maia Wilson|
I am very excited to see Monica Falkner play, I have heard on the grapevine that she will get court time during this series and I love watching new young shooters come along. I’ve heard so many good things about his game, so I’m interested to see how he goes when he comes on the pitch.
I also want to see what Noeline has decided on with Jane Watson; where she decides to play him in the defense unit and who will be her partner. With Karaka out for the time being now, and Katrina Rore not in this mix, it will be very interesting to see how their head coach shapes their defense.
When it comes to winning and losing the Test itself there are a few key areas I will focus on while watching with my morning cup of tea. First, I’m going to have a look at the New Zealand shooting circle.
This is an area the UK really needs to bother with and let’s see how much homework they’ve put into doing that. I would like to see the English defenders on the job from the first to the last minute, all of whom speak very well of the New Zealand style but facing it, and fighting it, is a very different prospect.
England fell into a great pattern of play against Australia and Jamaica now, they did it fast. However, against New Zealand they are likely to take a little while to progress as it is a unique way of playing.
On the other end I wanted to see the British WA-GA combination and how effective it was. You can’t take a moment not to think about it, the way they defend always leaves you wondering if you can throw the ball.
The key is how Serena Guthrie can support them and how strong the British shooters are under the post. Like I said earlier, I hope The Roses have done a lot of work to solidify that WA-GA combination, whichever route they choose.
One more thing that Jess mentioned during Out of court is that he’s going to make changes to his line-up and you should expect to see people getting their chance.
I really hope that happens and the players out there get a chance to prove whether they can cut the mustard on the big stage or not. As a coach, when you are under pressure in a test match it’s not always easy to do, but there’s never been a better time to try these lads.
Of course, things are more difficult because Jess is in England and cannot be on the sidelines in New Zealand, but I am sure he will have a clear process with Kat Ratnapala and Colette Thomson on how they approach both games. -days and matches of 60 minutes.
I can’t wait to see how Noeline approaches her change too … what goals will she take in the match? Will he do something similar to the Vitality Nations Cup and roll and kill combinations until the final game? Will he tactically stick to the line-up and take him to England? I don’t think we’ll know until the game is over.
As you know, I really enjoyed watching this Test series for many reasons. I think England have enough talent in their squad to take the game to New Zealand.
Whether they can do it for lack of match practice under their belt and do it away from home is a big question. There were ways to destroy the Silver Fern, but that happened less and less under Noeline’s leadership. It will be difficult for England… but of course not impossible, do it.
Netball straight back to Sky Sports with Vitality Roses taking on the Silver Ferns in the three Test series in Hamilton. Join us for the first Test on Wednesday starting at 6am Sky Sports Main and Mixed Events.