Silver Ferns defend Constellation Cup for first time in 18 months

By Arohanui West

By Arohanui West, Te Rito journalism cadet. 

The Silver Ferns are defending the Constellation Cup against Commonwealth Games champions the Australian Diamonds tonight in the first game of a four-game match series to battle it out for the Constellation Cup.

This is the first time in 18 months the Silver Ferns will take on Australia in consecutive test matches.

Dame Noeline Taurua, their coach since 2018, says “On the first meeting I actually asked who has played against Australia four quarters let alone ag ame, to game to game and there weren’t very many hands up apart from Mills”.

Silver Ferns athlete Kimiora Poi will be heading to Australia to play the final two games of the four-game match series. She says she’s excited to “give them a good crack in their home territory”.

Netball's Trans-Tasman rivalry begins again.  

Taurua says increased competition is evident among the players in the lead-up to the world championships next year.

 “That’s the standard we’re starting to set within the Silver Ferns, that competitiveness, that depth, that you’re not just going to get it because of who you are but you’ve got to definitely be able to work. And I think the intent, honestly, as we get into the netball world cup, I’m fearful of those trials because everyone is putting their hand up and they're doing amazingly.”

Although she says the world championships are always in the back of her mind, Silver Ferns centre and wing attack Porirua's Mila Reuelu-Buchannan is focusing on the game right ahead of her.  

“These are probably my only two opportunities to get those international games under my belt, so it is going to be a massive challenge for me to really show what I can bring,” she says.

The first two games will take place in Aotearoa where Reuelu-Buchannan will get her first crack at the Australians before both teams head across the ditch where Poi will get her time on the court.