All the action as the Silver Ferns take on Australia in the first game of the Constellation Cup.

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There is always room for improvement.

That's the perspective of head coach Noeline Taurua as she prepares the Silver Ferns for a fiery transtasman rematch against Australia in the Constellation Cup.

Having named a stable squad with only two changes from her Netball World Cup-winning roster, you could assume Taurua would be comfortable continuing with the same game plan that has already proved successful against their Aussie rivals.


But that's not the way the radical coach rolls.

Instead, Taurua is already working toward a "new age'' of netball for the national side.

"Where we're at is noting what we were able to achieve at the Netball World Cup but also our ability now to take that next step," Taurua said.

"We can't rest on our laurels and we've got to keep improving and go into a new era of netball.

"There's been a couple of months between drinks and there's a bit of anxiousness around this first [game] but knowing that the expectation is there now and that we have to back it up to be able to prove ourselves."

This afternoon's opening Constellation Cup clash will be the first time the Silver Ferns and Australian Diamonds go head-to-head since the Netball World Cup grand final in July, where New Zealand denied the defending champions the title with a 52-51 victory.

The Silver Ferns have claimed the Constellation Cup only once in its nine-year history, though, having never won more than two matches against the Diamonds in each instalment of the series. The stats paint the same picture of inconsistency which has previously tainted the Silver Ferns' reputation, but it's one Taurua is keen to change.

"We've always been inconsistent to some respect," Taurua said. "Now is the time to start changing our own thoughts.


"[Australia] are a bit wounded in some respect because they are World Champs and they have been number one but they've lost the Commonwealth Games on their own home soil and they were predicted once again to be number one in the Netball World Cup so they are licking their wounds and like everybody knows, they're going to come out firing.

"Both teams have got different stories behind them now, knowing that Australia are wounded and need to get some pride back in their game and obviously us with winning, now there's expectation to back that up."

Having had the luxury of a break following the Netball World Cup while their opponents played the second half of Australia's Super Netball competition, the Silver Ferns look refreshed and hungry to hit the court.

The side endured a tough training camp earlier this week led by Taurua and specialist coaches Yvonne Willering and Jane Woodlands-Thompson.

The Diamonds and the Silver Ferns take to the court this afternoon with the first test of the series tipping off at 4pm at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena.

They'll then travel to Auckland for the second Constellation Cup test next Wednesday before closing off the series with games in Sydney and Perth.