Reuelu-Buchanan inspired by predecessors

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan sizes up her options during the Silver Ferns training in Invercargill...
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan sizes up her options during the Silver Ferns training in Invercargill yesterday. Kate Heffernan (left) and Charlotte Lourey look on in the background. PHOTO: MICHAEL BRADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan thinks of those who have come before when she pulls on the wing attack bib.

Sandra Edge, Grace Kara, Temepara Bailey and Gina Crampton — all who have played a big role in helping her get to where she is today — are at the forefront of her mind.

"What I’ve learnt from Noels [Silver Feerns coach Dame Noeline Taurua] is ... it’s important to make sure you kind of do your homework on other players, see how they play, but ensuring that you stick to your own identity because that’s your own strength," Reuelu-Buchanan said.

"But it’s how can you keep building on those strengths and [learning] from others. That’s been big for me and my development."

Reuelu-Buchanan has taken over the reins of the wing attack bib from great mate Crampton, who is on sabbatical and sending feedback home to help her successor, and is relishing her first taste of regular court time in the black dress.

"Any opportunity to just take the court in that black dress is such a huge privilege, but to actually be able to have constant court time has been massive.

"I actually remember ... Leana de Bruin. We were having a chat about how I first made the Silver Ferns and she said ‘you know the easy part is getting there, but the hardest part is maintaining that spot’."

In her time in the black dress, she has switched from centre to wing attack, and while her feet were a "bit banged up" with the change of direction and different lines, she was enjoying the challenge.

"I’m just enjoying every opportunity as it comes.

‘‘It’s always good to be versatile and be able to play two different positions."

Her combination with Maddy Gordon in the middle was a highlight during the series against England and they have continued to build in the Constellation Cup series.

Their movement and understanding of each other was good, but it was just the finishing touches in to the shooters they continued to work on.

"It’s one, having the ability to just give the ball with confidence, but also to see the different holding spaces of both shooters.

"It’s definitely coming and look, I know there are times where we need to just give that ball, but at the same time, that will come with the connections and confidence as we continue."

The Silver Ferns are searching for their first win of the series in Invercargill tonight.

Reuelu-Buchanan said they needed to score in crucial moments and get more ball on defence.

‘‘It’s also being able to score off those turnovers that we work so hard for. We need to credit the defenders when credit’s due.

"It’s just being able to cement that, because if we can do that, then the lead can build up because as we know it’s always hard to get ball off the Australians because they’re so clinical."