SILVER FERNS CLOSE NETBALL QUAD SERIES WITH SPIRITED OUTING
23 September, 2018
Showing they’re well in range of their top rivals, the Silver Ferns produced a spirited 60-55 loss in their Netball Quad Series match against world #1 ranked Australian Diamonds in Melbourne on Sunday.
The result handed the Quad Series trophy to the Diamonds but the Silver Ferns made them work hard for the silverware.
After trailing by five at the first quarter, the Silver Ferns impressed with their resilience and spirited attitude for the remainder of the match to deny the home side making any further inroads.
With just two weeks together, the new-look Silver Ferns under the guidance of new coach Noeline Taurua, can feel confident they are heading in the right direction ahead of next month’s Constellation Cup.
In her 59th successive test against Australia, captain Laura Langman slotted in at centre, Te Paea Selby-Rickit got the nod at goal shoot while exciting youngster Michaela Sokolich-Beatson was the starting wing defence for the Silver Ferns.
There was plenty of early enterprise from both sides, the Silver Ferns matching the Diamonds across all facets as the teams’ level-pegged for much of the opening stanza.
The tall Australian shooting combination of Caitlin Bassett and Gretel Tippett provided an effective foundation as their greater accuracy pushed the home team out to a 16-11 lead at the first break.
With Sokolich-Beatson featuring prominently and shooters Maria Folau and Selby-Rickit responding under the hoop, the Silver Ferns made the best of replies on the resumption when scoring the first three goals.
The Silver Ferns continued to keep the Diamonds in check through a competitive and evenly contested second stanza. Selby-Rickit converted a number of telling blows from range in the shooting circle while defenders Jane Watson and Katrina Grant ensured the Diamonds had to work hard for their reward.
After a drawn second quarter, it was the Australians who maintained their five-goal buffer when leading 30-25 at the main break.
The Silver Ferns remained unchanged while the Diamonds introduced rookie wing attack Kelsey Browne for an equally-tight third quarter. Influential goalkeeper Courtney Bruce defused a spirited Silver Ferns fightback as they closed to within three before the Diamonds threatened to pull away.
The Silver Ferns certainly had their moments, showing some classy movement in their transitional play through the hard-working exploits of Langman and Gina Crampton but failed to make the most of all their opportunities.
Showing their ability to keep Australia within arms-reach, the Silver Ferns could not prevent the Diamonds from finishing with a flourish as the home side took a healthy 45-38 lead into the last break.
The Silver Ferns showed they were far from done, twice surging back from eight and nine-goal deficits to remain well in the contest as they pushed Australia all the way in the run home.
Coming on for the last quarter, in just her second test appearance, teenaged shooter Aliyah Dunn gave a glimpse of her growing presence with a perfect 10 from 10 return under the hoop while Folau was a steady influence with 30 from 34 for the match
Champion Data Match Centre
Shooting Stats - Silver Ferns:
Maria Folau 30/34 (88%)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 15/20 (75%)
Aliyah Dunn 10/10 (100%)
Shooting Stats - Australia:
Caitlin Bassett 46/50 (92%)
Gretel Tippett 14/14 (100%)
MVP: Courtney Bruce (Australia)
Match Centre Stats - click here
Media Guide - click here
Silver Ferns Online - silverferns.co.nz
For further information and interview requests, please contact:
NNZ Head of PR, Media and Government Relations
+64 21 410 970