Such an interesting team. I think it’s a testament to NZ’s (improved) development pathways that so many top quality players have missed out.
A few thoughts from me:
Shooters: GA is a weak point for us. Who takes the spot?
TPSR – she’s been solid but certainly not spectacular in the black dress during her career.
Mes – has had a great season for the Magic and her strength under the post is unquestionable – unsure how she will go running GA under a strong 1:1 Australian defence.
Wilson – It’s clear NNZ/Taurua eye her as a future GA, but she’s so unproven in the position weeks out from a pinnacle event.
Crampton and Saunders are obvious for me. Both played critical roles in last year’s WC and have been proven performers for Taurua in the SF and Steel. But both are strongest at WA. Does this mean Heffernan is the walk-up C? No doubt, I’m excited to see her there – she’s the most well rounded C in NZ for mine and a proven ballwinner on defence, but lacks big match international experience. Was it perhaps an error that management didn’t blood her during the recent Quad/CC series?
Souness had a strong season, but again is a WA-specialist, making us very attack heavy. A bit strange for me that 3/4 of our micourters are WA-preferred. I personally would’ve gone for another utility – Gordon or Poi. Kersten in the reserves is such a ‘meh’ for me.
Jury, Karaka and Fitzpatrick as predicted – I like it. As for the 4th spot – surprised it’s Johnston. I don’t feel she had a cracking ANZP (you could argue Stars were at their strongest with Kayla on the bench). I really thought we would’ve seen the likes of Temu or Burley in that final spot – the sort of a impact player / ball winner you might need. Manu’a was solid this season, but despite her strong combination with Jury, I suspect is better suited to the 1:1 and Taurua/Fuller will be looking to the zone.