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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS! => The Sports Board! => Topic started by: Michael Alexander on October 18, 2008, 06:02:46 PM

Title: Ex South African?
Post by: Michael Alexander on October 18, 2008, 06:02:46 PM
Is'nt this girl an ex South African?

New Zealand 61
England 22

Some called it a rush of blood to the head. Others simply labelled it as sheer bravado.

Whatever you call Silver Ferns coach Ruth Aitken's insistence on keeping Irene van Dyk at goal attack despite a dwindling second test scoreline, common sense eventually prevailed.

The specialist goal shooter was back to her usual position and back to 100 per cent accuracy, with 41 goals from 41 attempts in last night's 61-22 test and series victory over England at Palmerston North's Arena Manawatu.

The comprehensive win rounded out what has been a rollercoaster week for the Silver Ferns, riding high after a first-up 39-goal victory over the visitors and falling hard after a subsequent two-goal loss midweek.

It was a more settled and controlled New Zealand outfit that took to the court, with Aitken opting for a shadow Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic side coupled with an effective Maree Bowden at wing attack and Sheryl Scanlan partnering keeper Casey Williams in the defensive circle.

Silver Ferns captain and midcourter Julie Seymour was a late withdrawal after an Achilles injury. Squad member Liana Barrett-Chase was promoted to the bench, while centre Laura Langman took on the captaincy duties.

Despite trailing by only six after the first quarter, a dire second quarter performance stemmed the flow of goals from England, allowing New Zealand to pile up a handy 26-goal buffer heading into the second half - the red-and-whites conceding 15 unanswered goals.

Some tight marking in the circle from Scanlan and Williams forced England coach Sue Hawkins to make a change, replacing beleaguered goal attack Pamela Cookey with Rachel Dunn. It was too little, too late. The English side were guilty of not treasuring the ball and failing to find their rhythm throughout the encounter.

New Zealand goal attack Maria Tutaia made a rampant return to the side and was galvanised by the opportunity to reprise her partnership with van Dyk. The pair shot clinically, bolstering the home side's showing.

Paula Griffin, arguably one of the most unlucky Silver Ferns in recent times, was finally given a taste of international netball in the concluding quarter.

Last night's decider in the three-test series - which also saw New Zealand become the first country to etch its name into the new Taini Jamison trophy - was originally predicted to be a dead rubber, after the Silver Ferns ravaged the English 65-26 in Monday's series opener in Auckland.

But, in a bizarre chain of events, the tables were turned on the hosts 48 hours later, New Zealand succumbing to the visitors 40-38 in Dunedin.

Critics pointed to a capitulation in the shooting circle as the catalyst of the dramatic change in form.

Poor shooting from Southland Steel's Daneka Wipiiti and van Dyk's shift to the largely unfamiliar position of goal attack compounded attacking deficiencies in the side.

The normally rock-solid shooting from van Dyk dwindled in the second test and saw the former South African international land only 18 from 23 attempts for a 78 percent success rate - a far cry from the 95 percent she boasted in Auckland.

All the while, their circle opposition - Geva Mentor and Sonia Mkoloma - were in barnstorming form for the visitors.

Magic coach Noeline Taurua was the first to trial van Dyk at goal attack during the inaugural ANZ Championships against competition heavyweights Melbourne Vixens and eventual champions the New South Wales Swifts.

Taurua told the Herald on Sunday the decision wasn't purely about giving 36-year-old van Dyk - a seven-year Silver Fern veteran - another weapon in her attacking arsenal.

"For me, it was not just about me putting her at goal attack," Taurua said. "It was about what was happening around her as well."

Taurua offered an insight into why the move hasn't been replicated with any real degree of success at international level - Wipiiti's penchant for tight movements in the circle and an overall holding game were seen as the main barrier to the tactic's success.

"You need somebody who can complement her [van Dyk], whereas she and Daneka don't. Daneka is a goal shooter who doesn't come out of the circle."

Taurua added: "Changes have to be made for the betterment of the unit. When you look at what they had on court in the second test, they weren't complementary."

Despite her reservations about the ill-fated van Dyk-Wipiiti combination, the Magic coach stopped short of ruling out having van Dyk at goal attack next season.

A Tutaia-van Dyk goal shoot-goal attack partnership is still seen by Taurua as a viable option for the future."
Title: Re: Ex South African?
Post by: Cherry (Alcock) on October 18, 2008, 06:51:11 PM
Yes, she was the Springbok captain - very tall, blonde girl.