Constellation Cup: Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua still confident, despite second-test drubbing

Somewhat surprisingly, Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua is unrepentent, despite her team's capitulation to Australia in their second Constellation Cup test at Christchurch.

Just 24 hours after running away with the series-opener, New Zealand quickly found themselves in a deep, early hole and staggered home 45-26 losers to the Diamonds, who brought a more physical approach to level the four-test contest at 1-1.

"I know this sounds terrible, but we're actually still quite confident," admits Taurua, who usually doesn't mince words in her post-game assessments. "We are disappointed, and we were outmuscled and outplayed in the first half, so we have total respect for the opposition.

"In saying that, we remain quite confident about what we do and how we do it. It's another day in the office and, for us, I always think it's about what's next that is the big decider as to how good an individual is or a team is.

"These next two days are important for us to regroup, analyse and get ready to hit that court again as ready as we can on Saturday."

The nine-goal deficit was probably flattering to the Kiwis, who conceded seven straight goals without response and trailled 15-6 after the opening quarter. 

The deficit reached 15 goals (30-15) just before halftime, before the Ferns clawed back to within seven in the final moments of the contest, still well short of snatching victory.

With skipper Ameliaranne Ekenasio sidelined by a calf niggle, shooting depth was exposed, as Maia Wilson (32/38) was left to shoulder most of the scoring load.

The Aussies also outmatched their counterparts for sheer size under both goals and used their physicality to disrupt transition of the ball downcourt.

Dame Noeline confirms Ekenasio is expected to take the court for game three on Saturday, with the series finale scheduled for Sunday.

Join us on Saturday for live updates of the third NZ v Australian Constellation Cup test