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Toni Street: Rasmussen adds spark


Published: 3:53PM Sunday August 08, 2010 Source: ONE Sport

  • Grace Rasmussen (Source: Photosport)
    Grace Rasmussen - Source: Photosport

Let's not get too excited just yet.

Yes, the Silver Ferns' 64-goal win over Samoa was great. It was the perfect opportunity for Ruth Aitken to get her entire squad on court, for Anna Scarlett to get rid of the cobwebs, and Grace Rasmussen to get her first run. But, it provides us with little insight into where this new Silver Ferns team is truly at.

The team was slick, fit and well connected against the Samoans, but when the defence is weak (and short); it's not a true test.

There is a buzz of excitement around newcomer Rasmussen and the diversity she offers at goal attack. Not since Belinda Colling have we seen a feeding-style goal attack, that can really create play and shift the defence in the shooting circle - many think Rasmussen could be the answer.

When Maria Tutaia is playing at her best, I still think she is New Zealand's first option at goal attack, but her form has been inconsistent, and Rasmussen's inclusion in the team will provide competition, which is what the position has been lacking in recent years.

The first Test against Jamaica will set the benchmark for the season. The Jamaicans beat both the Silver Ferns and Australia last year, and are now a genuine threat ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

They won't be going into the Tests against the Silver Ferns cold either. They will have already played Australia, so the Silver Ferns will need to be ready, with not an ounce of complacency after annihilating Samoa.

Toni Street is the netball reporter for ONE News and will be commenting on the Silver Ferns' performances throughout the international season.

TV ONE has live and exclusive coverage of the Silver Ferns international season. Find out when you can watch.