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Silver Ferns rampant against South Africa

Silver Ferns rampant against South Africa

The Silver Ferns overwhelmed South Africa 94-25 in the one-off Fisher & Paykel International Netball Test against South Africa at The Trusts Stadium, in Waitakere tonight.

Rebounding from last week’s 48-38 loss against Australia, the Silver Ferns took control from the outset tonight to dominant all facets, in the process chalking up a record total and record margin in their 20th test against South Africa.

With Silver Ferns vice-captain Temepara George ruled out of the match with a side strain, the one-sided nature of the match allowed coach Ruth Aitken the opportunity to run several combinations. The remaining 11 players all got court time tonight with Otago Rebel Debbie White making her international debut at centre in the second quarter.

The Silver Ferns were quick to stamp their authority on the game, starting at a furious pace that left a stunned South Africa bereft of answers. A huge defensive effort set the scene for the New Zealanders, who starved their opponents of possession while picking up a feast of intercept ball in the process.

There was quick transfer through court as Irene van Dyk and Belinda Colling potted a steady stream of shots. The Silver Ferns contested every ball and the South Africans were forced to exchange numerous passes as they struggled to make any headway against an ever-threatening midcourt zone.

Slick movement on attack, the speed of the ball and a top defensive effort propelled the Silver Ferns out to a commanding 27-2 first quarter advantage, which was extended to 49-8 at halftime.

South Africa struggled against the height of the New Zealanders where Vilimaina Davu and Leana de Bruin thwarted many of their efforts to get the ball into the shooting circle in the first half.

There was a brief respite as momentum was stalled momentarily as Maria Tutaia, at goal attack, and the tall timber of Anna Scarlett and Casey Williams in the defence line, found their feet after being introduced to the game in the second half.

Once settled and into the groove, the new set picked up where their team-mates had left off to continue the rampage as they waltzed into the threequarter break with a 72-18 advantage.

Tutaia showed her range of skills and preference for shooting from long range with a polished performance while van Dyk passed the half-century of goals for the match with a dominating performance under the hoop.

The long reaches of Scarlett and Williams were potent weapons in the second half against the South Africans, who were regularly foiled in their attempts to get the ball to the tallest player on the court, Sindisiwe Gumede.

Player-for-player the Silver Ferns were superior throughout tonight as the visitors wilted under the constant pressure.

``The team was incredibly committed to perform well tonight for our home crowd so it was fantastic to get everyone out on court,’’ Aitken said.

``We wanted the flow to be kept going and most of the time it did so we were very pleased. The team showed a lot of character and heart tonight, they had a huge disappointment last week and they really wanted to show their style and I think they did that well.’’

Player of the match: Adine Wilson

Shooting statistics:
Silver Ferns:
Irene van Dyk 57/61
Belinda Colling 18/24
Maria Tutaia 19/23

South Africa:
Sindisiwe Gumede 12/17
Christine Markgraff 13/17


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