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Silver Ferns too strong for Jamaica

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/09/2016 By Cathy Walshe

A remorseless Silver Ferns rolled over Jamaica 72-34 at Nelson's Trafalgar Centre on Sunday, in the first Test of their three-match netball series.

The Silver Ferns controlled the game from the outset, winning every quarter convincingly against a Jamaican team which struggled to match them in pace, accuracy and control.

Coach Janine Southby was satisfied with the hit-out, but says there are plenty of areas she is expecting improvement in when the two teams meet again in Palmerston North on Wednesday.

"There were some good things, and we addressed a couple of things on attack we'd been working on over the last couple of days," she said.

"There probably wasn't as much pressure as we'd like to see, but the good thing is we maintained intensity most of the game."

Jamaica coach Minneth Reynolds, trialling a range of new players, admitted the final margin was disappointing.

"But we knew it was going to be a big challenge for our girls - we're in a rebuilding process," Reynolds said.

"We didn't start as positively as we should have but we finished strongly, so that's a positive to take back to the next game."

The New Zealanders hit their stride early, playing at pace through the middle and controlling the attacking third with excellent variation in feeding shooters Bailey Mes and Te Paea Selby-Rickit.

The Ferns were solid in converting the abundance of turnover ball their defence generated, scoring in threes almost from the first whistle to lead 19-8 after 15 minutes.

Things didn't improve in the second stanza for the Jamaicans.

Without shooters Romelda Aiken and Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, both taller than 1.95m, to provide a target under the post, their midcourt struggled to find the rookie combination Shantal Slater and Shanice Beckford.

Silver Ferns skipper Katrina Grant and Jane Watson shut down the space inside the circle, while wing defence Kayla Cullen was particularly destructive in pressuring the pass from outside.

The New Zealanders took the spell 16-7 to lead 35-15 at halftime, allowing coach Janine Southby to make good use of her bench.

There was little drop in intensity - the Silver Ferns took the quarter 19-8 for a 54-23 lead at the three-quarter mark, a margin they were ruthless in extending out over the final 15 minutes.

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