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Dominant Silver Ferns thump England

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/08/2016 Angelo Risso

Bailey Mes of New Zealand © AAP Image/Dean Lewins Bailey Mes of New Zealand The Silver Ferns have overcome the absence of several established stars to start the international netball season with an impressive 65-39 win over England in the Quad Series.

New Zealand produced a fluid display against the world No.3 side, quickly working the ball towards new attacking duo Bailey Mes and Ameliaranne Ekenasio.

The Kiwi pair outclassed opposing defenders Ama Agbeze and Stacey Francis from the first minute to the last, racking up a combined 63 points.

Debutant Te Paea Selby-Rickit, who entered the fray in the fourth quarter, bagged two points.

Janine Southby's outfit went into Saturday's match with concerns surrounding the loss of star shooter Maria Tutaia and defensive linchpin and skipper Casey Kopua.

However any fears of a disjointed attacking display were quickly put to bed as Mes and Ekenasio went about breaking down the Roses defence in the opening period.

Mes nailed 10 of her 12 shots, while Ekenasio hit seven from nine as the Silver Ferns ended the first quarter ahead by eight points.

The pair's attacking potency was backed up by midcourt energy from vice-captain Laura Langman and Shannon Francois, who laid on a combined eight assists.

A closer second quarter followed, with Roses star Jo Harten wrestling her way back into the match over stand-in Kiwi goal keeper Phoenix Karaka.

Harten grabbed six goals in seven attempts but precise shooting from Mes, who scored eight from eight in the second quarter, saw the Silver Ferns go into the break leading 30-18.

Southby switched up her side after the break, slotting defender Jane Watson in for her Silver Ferns debut and switching wing attack Francois for Grace Rasmussen.

Her side lost little fluidity as a result, romping to a 19-point lead by three-quarter time.

Francois and Selby-Rickit were injected into the match midway through the final quarter, as the Silver Ferns looked to wind down the clock.

Mes, who produced a near perfect performance, finished three of four quarters with a 100 per cent shooting record, including 12 from 12 in the final quarter.

At the back, Southby will be pleased by captain Katrina Grant and Watson's three intercepts apiece.

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