The short-term struggle of the Silver Ferns could still turn out to have long-term benefits, according to one netball commentator.
The world champions captured Commonwealth Games bronze this morning in Birmingham, to go one better than four years ago on the Gold Coast. Marutawhaorere Delamere says despite the third place finish, he has seen growth in the development of the team.
"I kite i te tino pakari a Te Paea Selby-Rickit i roto i tērā kaikuru me tōna hononga ki a Grace Nweke me Gina Crampton. Ko te hiahia kia ata pākari kia tū ia hei raukura, hei rangatira o tērā taha o te kōti. I kite hoki mātou i a Sulu Fitzpatrick e kaha pakari ana i te hononga ki a Phoenix Karaka.
(Te Paea Selby-Rickit had a strong game at the goal shoot position. She did well linking up with Grace Nweke and Gina Crampton. And in the future the hope is that she plays well and makes that her spot. We also saw Sulu Fitzpatrick playing hard alongside Phoenix Karaka.)
"Me ngākaunui tātou ki tō tātou kapa. Hei tērā tau tātou ka kite i ngā tino hua."
(We have to acknowledge our team and expect great things this year coming.)
The depth of the squad will also be boosted by the potential return of a number of experienced players from injury and maternity leave ahead of next year's World Cup in South Africa.
"Ko te mea pai mā Noels [Dame Noeline Taurua] kei te hoki mai a Ameliaranne Ekenasio, ka tāea hoki a Jane Watson ki te uru atu ki te kapa, a Karin Burger nā tāna whara ki tāna waewae, wai hoki a Katrina Rore. Nō reira he nui ngā kaitākaro e āhei ana ki te uru atu. Ko te mea kē, ka āta kite atu ko wai ka āta eke tō rātou taumata tautoko i te whakataetae ANZ Premiership a te tau e heke mai ana. Mā reira pea ngā hua o te hunga e kaha ngana ana ki te uru ki te tekau mā rua."
(It's a good thing for Noels that Ameliaranne Ekenasio will return and that Jane Watson will be eligible for selection. Karin Burger will be back from her leg injury. And so too will Katrina Rore, so there are a lot of talented players available. It will just come down to who plays well in the ANZ Premiership. That's where we will see who will make that 12-woman team next year.)