There's no argument from assistant coach Yvette McCausland-Durie - the Silver Ferns conceded far too many penalties in the first Constellation Cup defeat against Australia.

The New Zealanders were pinged 76 times on the way to the 57-54 loss in Auckland but McCausland-Durie isn't pointing the finger at English umpires Kate Stephenson and Jackie Mizon, who also penalised the Diamonds 70 times.

McCausland-Durie is clear the remedy lies with the Kiwis, who must win the second test in Christchurch today to hold any hope of winning the trophy for only the second time in its seven-year history.

"We need to be better in getting our penalty rate down. It was reasonably even from both sides, but there's plenty we can tidy up," she said yesterday.

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"We have to play with a lot more clarity, listen to the umpires and adjust quickly.

"Umpires make calls, we just have to take them on board and move on. Some calls don't go your way, but they're gone.

"We can't dwell on it."

McCausland-Durie says if the Silver Ferns can reduce their penalty count down to around 50 for the second test, they'll have a much better chance of cutting back the turnovers which plagued them on Thursday in Auckland.

The loss was particularly disappointing given their 10-goal win over Australia last time the teams met in the Quad Series finale early last month in Invercargill.

That win was even more noteworthy given it was achieved without playmaking goal attack Maria Tutaia, absent on bereavement leave.

McCausland-Durie says while the latest loss is disappointing, it's clear where things went wrong.

"We did a lot of it to ourselves - it was just poor execution. We tended to play long, rather than accurately, and pass placement at times wasn't a strength for us," she said.

"We were choosing the right people but putting it in the wrong space."

The Silver Ferns travel to Australia for the final two Constellation Cup tests next week, in Adelaide and Sydney.

- NZN