In their first game of the tour in New Zealand England were out played by the Silver Ferns to lose 65-26.
From the first whistle the home side dominated with their tremendous speed and faultless shooting ability.
England’s Geva Mentor suffered an ankle injury against New Zealand’s A team in a warm up match on Saturday so was forced out of the first test. However, Pamela Cookey was warmly welcomed to the New Zealand leg of the tour playing goal attack.
Sonia Mkoloma was the strongest player on court for England but even her skill and determination could not keep the Silver Ferns at bay. They were 17-7 at the first break and despite a change as Jo Binns replaced Sasha Corbin as wing attack the score was 30-12 at half time.
More changes followed with Jo Binns replacing Karen Atkinson (pictured) as centre position, allowing Atkinson to change to wing attack and Sara Bayman coming on as wing defence for Jade Clarke.
The Silver Ferns lead grew to 47-18 at three-quarter time. England made their final changes with Jade Clarke back to centre, Jo Binns off, Naida Hutchinson on as goal defence for Ama Agbeze, Rachel Dunn on as goal shooter, Pamela Cookey off, Louisa Brownfield changing from goal shooter to goal attack and Rachel Dunn on as goal shooter.
The changes lead to England playing their best quarter but poor shooting and loss of possession let them down.
Commenting on the game, Nigel Holl, director of netball at England Netball, said, “This game must not mask the impact England has had on the tour so far. England knows the levels they have to rise to in order to contain a very slick Sliver Ferns in the rest of the series. ”
Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
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