Time was always against Noeline Taurua.

This latest northern netball Quad Series has revealed even she is no miracle worker.

Three series into her Ferns reign and there's progress even if results to date — three wins from 10 tests — don't show it.

For a start, lock in the Ameliaranne Ekenasio/Maria Folau shooting duo after they, both, consistently hit shots under pressure. One box ticked. Depth there is now the only question.


Karin Burger, in two tests at wing defence, proved she is ready for this level, even with her botched goal keep audition after being sinbinned in the game one defeat to England.

Led by Laura Langman, there also appears genuine spirit to the Ferns. Despite just one win, in extra time over South Africa in the Quad Series, they remain overwhelmingly positive about what's to come.

Maybe with extended time, even in this new, intensely competitive test landscape, could the Ferns mount a decent World Cup challenge?

It looks an unrealistic dream. As it stands, the final would be a good place to start.

Liverpool is six months away and, so, everything remains on the fast track to try to catch England, who on home soil may start favourites, and defending champions Australia while secretly dreading Jamaica and Norma Plummer's South Africa.

Having established off-court connections with domestic coaches, Taurua is now attempting to drive hunger by lifting standards and expectations across the board through a hardline selection stance.

She has already selected and assessed more than 25 players since coming on board in September, leaving her much clearer about individuals and combinations. All are now on notice that ANZ Championship form will determine World Cup selection.

"Changes are going to happen, definitely," said Taurua, who is targeting a versatile squad.


"They've got to be able to perform. They go back to their own environments and there'll be internal competition; there'll be expectations, they know what that is. And I want the best.

"They'll select themselves by knowing they can handle the pressure, they have the engine and they go from start to end. I feel over these next three or four months, in their own environments, those ones will rise to the top."

With better ball placement, patience and, perhaps, more maturity from the midcourt at the attacking end where Sam Sinclair, Whitney Souness and to a lesser degree Gina Crampton battled at times, this group promise further improvement.

Casey Kopua's influence at the back continues to grow but Taurua wants more explosiveness from the defensive end to add another dimension.

The domestic season and three-test Taini Jamison series is all that remains before the World Cup.

Taurua knows time for further gains is fast running out.

"If we can put out there something that we're proud of and we're giving it our best, that's all we can do. We're on the back foot anyway. There's some really positive signs for us and there's a lot of confidence that's going to come out of these last two games.

"One of the objectives was to come here for two out of three and we're still a way off that in regards to the best teams but we can count South Africa in that mix now. It's going to be a boomer of a World Cup."