Silver Ferns star backing NZ to end netball dry spell
IT hasn't happened in their last eight games but New Zealand gun Maria Folau believes the Silver Ferns are capable of springing an upset on Australia in the four-game Constellation Cup starting this weekend.
Folau, a recent signing for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, said the Ferns go into the series starting in Brisbane on Sunday believing they still have the ability to shock their Australian foes despite a year-long dry spell against the Diamonds.
Folau said the Ferns are already thriving under the guidance of new coach Noeline Taurua, who has lead the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Super Netball for the past two years.
"She has gone in with a hiss and a roar. There is no grey area. We have clear direction,'' Folau said. "We are going to be tested every single day.
"Things haven't gone right for us for two years but I'm all for change and starting fresh and I feel we have done that.''
The New Zealanders slumped to an all-time low when they failed to medal at the Commonwealth Games for the first time in history, then fell to third on the world rankings behind Australia and England off the back of the result.
While Taurua has been at the helm for just the three recent Quad Series games, Folau said while early in the rebuild, taking a win off the Diamonds is still feasible.
"No, it's never too early. We can do it. We will be trying our hardest to do it.'' she said.
"They are such a classy side and have a core together for quite some time.
"And they are coming off hurt as well with the Commonwealth Games (where Australian lost to England in the decider).
"I know Lisa (Alexander) will be digging deep into her bag of tricks for this one.''
Folau is now living in Australia with rugby playing husband Israel and will maker her Super Netball debut for the Thunderbirds next year.
The Thunderbirds finished with the wooden spoon in both the 2018 and 2017 competitions.