England Defeat Silver Ferns in Netball Quad Series Opener
England Defeat Silver Ferns in Netball Quad Series
Opener 15 September, 2018
15 September, 2018
The Silver Ferns opened their Netball Quad Series campaign with a 52-39 loss to the England Roses in Auckland on Saturday.
On the back of some well-executed facets of play, the Silver Ferns were well in the contest until the final quarter when a confident and well-drilled England showed all of their experience to put the polish on a strong all-round outing.
Having assembled with her new-look squad just six days ago, Noeline Taurua got the opportunity to have a good look at a number of players, including dynamic midcourter Elisapeta Toeava and powerful wing defence Karin Burger making their debuts, as she looks to set the Silver Ferns on a new course.
That will be further refined when the Silver Ferns meet the SPAR Proteas in their second match in Tauranga on Tuesday night.
Back after an 18-month absence, new captain Laura Langman lined up at wing defence in her 142nd test while Gina Crampton (wing attack) and Jane Watson (goalkeeper) also made their returns to the Silver Ferns environment.
It was a nervous start for the Silver Ferns, who took time to find their connections in the face of a searching examination from an experienced England, winners of April’s Commonwealth Games gold medal.
England goalkeeper Geva Mentor was at her menacing best in denying the Silver Ferns scoring opportunities while shooters Helen Housby and Jo Harten were efficiently effective in propelling the Roses to a 13-8 lead at the first break.
There was a big lift in intensity and contesting from both teams on the resumption, the Silver Ferns finding their groove on attack. Creating greater movement, shooters Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Maria Folau found better space while defenders Watson and Katrina Grant got their hands on more turnover opportunities.
Slowly but surely, the Silver Ferns chipped into the deficit, getting their hands on more opportunities as the game livened up. It was England who were left anxiously looking over their shoulder when their lead was narrowed to the slimmest of margins, 22-21 at the main break.
Te Paea Selby-Rickit replaced Ekenasio at goal shoot for the second half but it was a relentless England who reversed the trend of the previous quarter to control proceedings through the third stanza.
The Silver Ferns levelled up early on but England were quick to punish anything errant from their opponents, with Harten and Housby making no mistakes under the hoop. Showing great timing and accuracy on attack, England threatened to shut the Silver Ferns out when marching to a seven-goal lead.
Midcourter Toeava was on for her international debut late in the third quarter as the Silver Ferns rallied to trim England’s deficit to a 38-34 lead at the last break. However, the home team could not contain England’s relentless and ruthless efficiency in the final run home.
Stats - Silver Ferns:
Maria Folau 22/30 (73%)
Ameliaranne Ekenasio 10/18 (56%)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 7/9 (78%)
Shooting Stats - England:
Helen Housby 28/31 (90%)
Jo Harten 23/31 (74%)
Kadeen Corbin 1/3 (33%)
MVP: Geva Mentor (England)
Netball Quad Series
matches will be broadcast LIVE in New Zealand on SKY