For two sides who have had a tough leadup going into the Taini Jamison Trophy series with strict lockdown preparations, limited practise together as a team and many zoom sessions, it was a wonderful display of netball between the New Zealand Silver Ferns and England Vitality Roses, with the Silver Ferns taking game one with a six-goal win, 48-42.
After a messy first couple of minutes with plenty of nerves, both teams took a while to settle into the match, debutant Tiana Matuarau made the most of her opportunities and set the tone nailing her first shot. The Roses struggled to penetrate into the goal third with the likes of Burger, Gordon and Jury making it difficult for the Roses attack end to score whilst for the Roses, Cardwell and Guscoth were on-song. The Roses were able to level the scores but the Silver Ferns continued to add pressure, with the Silver Ferns going into the quarter time break with a one-goal lead, 12-11.
With no changes going into the second quarter, both teams settled much better showing fewer errors, with the first five goals alternating. For the Roses, Cardwell brought herself into the game growing in confidence and settled well. The Silver Ferns put the pressure on the centre pass, making it difficult for the Roses to nail their passes. George Fisher came into the game and had a strong impact immediately, taking the ball and nailing from mid-range over Burger and Jury, creating a great partnership with Hardwell.
With the Roses pegging back the scoreline multiple times, it wasn’t enough to level the scores with the defensive end of Jury, Burger, Gordon and Winders causing havoc for the Roses. The Silver Ferns went into the half-time break, up by five goals, 26-21.
For the Silver Ferns, debutante Tiana Metuarau had a huge impact in the first half shooting at a perfect 100% (9/9) and Maia Wilson shot 17 out of 21 (81%). Karin Burger kept busy with 8 deflections and Winders and Crampton were accurate with their feeds. Layla Guscoth made a huge impact in her return to the international stage adding four intercepts.
The third quarter saw a great comeback and better quarter for the Roses, with George Fisher coming off the bench and making an impact. The Silver Ferns came out playing patient netball but had some minor communication and timing errors in the defensive end. Malcolm injected energy for the Roses in the attack end, whilst Fisher provided the spark off the bench, finding great space and taking a high volume of shots. With Wilson nailing a goal at three-quarter time, the Silver Ferns went into the three-quarter time break ahead by four goals, 37-33.
The Roses had a better third quarter which forced the Silver Ferns to turn to their bench, with Karin Burger coming into the game and Sulu Fitzpatrick making her presence known in the last quarter. The Roses had a great start, scoring 5-1 levelling the scores to a nail-biting 38 all. Fitzpatrick reinvigorated defence and Metuarau continued to shine in attack.
As the Roses kept fighting scoring goal for goal, when the game was on the line, Burger came out with a flying intercept. The Roses looked for answers but there was no turning ball over.
With a gallant effort by the Roses in the second half, while it wasn’t enough, they look to bounce back in game two on Wednesday night but tonight the congratulations go to New Zealand, with the Silver Ferns taking a six-goal win, 48-42.
The Augustine Player of the Match was deservedly awarded to the Silver Ferns star, Tiana Metuarau, on her debut no less finishing the game with 89% accuracy and a mighty effort in attack with 16 feeds, 10 goal assists and 9 centre pass receives.
The England Vitality Roses will look to come out on the court with something to prove in the second game, after getting so close tonight so make sure to tune in to game two on Wednesday the 22nd of September.
Categories: International Tests
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