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NZ team notch second win at Commonwealth Games

NZ team notch second win at Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
Media Update
Friday 6 April

The New Zealand netball team bounced back in style from a rocky second quarter when outclassing Wales 70-44 on day two of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on Friday.

As in yesterday’s opening win against Uganda, New Zealand were able to give all 12 squad members a decent run during the game as they continued to mix and match their combinations.

New Zealand started and finished the match strongly, hauling themselves out of a hole during an indifferent second quarter when Wales impressed with a spirited fightback.

There was plenty of quality play produced by the New Zealanders and with two matches now under their belts showed the variety and options available in the squad for the remainder of the tournament.

The New Zealanders mixed up their starting seven with Ameliaranne Ekenasio getting the nod at goal shoot, versatile midcourter Samantha Sinclair lining up at centre and Claire Kersten slotting in at wing defence as the women in black got away to a flyer.

Goal attack Maria Folau picked up from where she left off in the opening game, her fluid movement and pinpoint accuracy was mirrored by Ekenasio, the pair pushing the New Zealanders into a position of dominance.

With New Zealand taking a 23-14 lead into the first break, a resurgent Wales produced a storming reply on the resumption. With the impact of new coach Julie Hoornweg, the former mentor of the Northern Stars in last year’s ANZ Premiership, having the desired effect, Wales impressed with their resilience.

Despite New Zealand captain Katrina Grant getting her hands on turnover opportunities, Wales found their feet on attack with a much-improved effort. Goal shoot Chelsea Lewis was a strong contributor while benefitting from a slicker delivery service from her attack line where Bethan Dyke was a key figure.

Held up on attack, New Zealand had their margin trimmed to just five when leading 32-27 at the main break.

Changing the dynamics completely, five new players were injected and two positional changes were employed by New Zealand for the second half.

The impact was immediate for New Zealand, a lift in intensity and purpose knocking Wales off their stride with the New Zealanders producing a flurry of goals in the opening five minutes of the third quarter.

Wing attack Grace Kara produced a string of fine feeds to shooters Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Bailey Mes while newest Silver Fern Michaela Sokolich-Beatson and the rangy figure of Kelly Jury provided plenty of disruption under the Wales hoop.

New Zealand outshone the nuggety Welsh team during a productive third term, to regain their position of dominance when leading 53-36 at three-quarter time. And that provided the platform in ramming home their advantage with an equally forceful final quarter.

The New Zealand team have a rest day tomorrow before taking on Malawi at 8.30pm on Sunday (NZ time).

New Zealand Netball Team
Katrina Grant (Captain)
Maria Folau (Vice Captain)
Ameliaranne Ekenasio
Temalisi Fakahokotau
Shannon Francois
Kelly Jury
Grace Kara
Claire Kersten
Bailey Mes
Te Paea Selby-Rickit
Samantha Sinclair
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson

Starting Line-ups
NEW ZEALAND | GS Ekenasio, GA Folau, WA Francois, C Sinclair, WD Kersten, GD Grant, GK Fakahokotau
WALES | GS Lewis, GA Moseley, WA Dyke, C K.Jones, WD Drane, GD N.Jones, GK, Morgan

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
NEW ZEALAND | Q1: 23 - Q2: 9 (32) - Q3: 21 (53) - Q4: 17 (70)
WALES | Q1: 14 - Q2: 13 (27) - Q3: 9 (36) - Q4: 8 (44)

Shooting Statistics
Ekenasio: 13/17 @ 76%
Folau: 19/23 @ 83%
Selby-Rickit: 28/31 @ 90%
Mes: 10/14 @ 71%

Lewis: 21/31 @ 68%
Moseley: 21/30 @ 70%
Rowe: 1/82 @ 50%
Llewelyn: 1/1 @ 100%

Positional Changes
Q3: GS Selby-Rickit, GA Mes, WA Kara, C Kersten, WD Sokolich-Beatson, GD Grant, GK Jury
Q4: Stoppage GK Fakahokotau

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