Netball: Silver Ferns no longer carry fear factor after Commonwealth Games failure, say internationals

The Silver Ferns' disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign is still sending shockwaves through the netball community.

The team was once feared around the world by opponents like England and South Africa, teams against which they now regularly lose.

New Zealand's premier netball competition launched on Monday, but there wasn't a single Silver Fern in sight. Instead, two imports were front and centre.

South African Lenize Potgieter witnessed the Ferns spectacular Commonwealth Games collapse - first to Malawi, then England and Jamaica.

"I was just very confused about decisions that were made during the Games," said Potgeiter of the NZ campaign.

"Maybe it's a good wake up call for Netball New Zealand to start with new development plans."

"I don't think that's sad for them that they're fourth, I think it's maybe good. Now maybe they can start fighting again, get that grit back."

England captain Ama Agbeze thinks the results have been some time coming.

"Some people want to blame the coach, some people want to blame the players. You can't blame one thing, you have to deal with the situation you're given," said Agbeze.

Under coach Janine Southby, the Ferns have lost their last three games against Jamaica, their last six against Australia, and three-straight to the Roses.

"When I first came into the England team people were like 'oh my gosh, we're playing New Zealand' and initially we'd be scared.

"Now I think the more you beat a team, the more you actually settle into actually we are ok and we can do this."

The Ferns' fear factor now firmly in the distance, international netball is more wide open than ever.

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