The external pressure may have eased, but internal pressure has ramped up another notch for the Silver Ferns as a new group assembles in Wellington today ahead of their three-test series against England.
With the need build depth in the New Zealand squad ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games acute, Ferns coach Janine Southby named two different line-ups for the first two international events of the year - the Quad Series and Taini Jamison series.
The Ferns wrapped up the Quad Series on Sunday with a stunning 10-goal win over Australia to claim the title for the first time, and emphatically answer their critics that emerged following a disappointing 49-45 loss to England in the second match. That comprehensive performance in Invercargill has put the onus on the new flock of players coming into the Ferns camp to produce the same sort of magic.
Shooter Maia Wilson, athletic defender Phoenix Karaka, and midcourters Sam Sinclair and Whitney Souness have been replaced in the line-up for this series by Monica Falkner, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Kayla Cullen and Grace Rasmussen.
Of the incoming group, Rasmussen, who has been the Ferns' starting wing attack over the past few seasons, is perhaps under the most pressure to perform against the English after Souness and Gina Crampton both put their hands up at various points in the Quad Series.
Souness underlined her reputation as one of the most exciting midcourt talents with an outstanding debut against South Africa, which saw her rewarded with the start against England in Auckland last week. Having had some tough questions asked of her, Crampton responded with a strong outing against the Diamonds on Sunday.
The performances of the pair has created some difficult decisions down the track for the selectors as they look to settle on their top 12 for next month's Constellation Cup series against Australia.
The return of Kayla Cullen from injury has further put the squeeze on the midcourt. After making an unscheduled appearance against England last week, when she came into the side as injury cover for young defender Kelly Jury, Cullen will have further opportunity to rebuild her match fitness and confidence over the next three games.
While the Ferns are light on cover at goal defence - a position Cullen spent a bit of time in during the ANZ Premiership season - Southby wants Cullen to focus on the wing defence role in the upcoming series. as she works her way back from a string of injuries.
"We want Kayla to get back and get her groove back. We saw the best of her at the 2015 World Cup and we started seeing some of that return last year before she got injured, and again she was just started to come right with the Stars this year and unfortunately she got plagued by injury again," Southby.
"So the big thing for us is that she gets her confidence back and gets back on court at wing defence, and then we will look at coverage of positions after that."
The area where selections seem to be most wide open is in the defensive end, with incumbents Jane Watson and Phoenix Karaka having quiet outings in their appearances across the Quad Series. Fakahokotau, who last played for the Ferns back in 2014, will now get her chance over the next week to push her case for a more permanent position in the New Zealand defensive end.
The Taini Jamison series gets underway in Poriria tomorrow, before the series moves to Napier and wraps up in Hamilton.