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Silver Ferns through to World Cup final

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/08/2015

Joanne Harten of England is challenged by Casey Kopua (L) and Katrina Grant (R) of New Zealand during the 2015 Netball World Cup Semi Final 1 match between New Zealand and England at Allphones Arena on August 15, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. © Matt King/Getty Images Joanne Harten of England is challenged by Casey Kopua (L) and Katrina Grant (R) of New Zealand during the 2015 Netball World Cup Semi Final 1 match between New Zealand and England at Allphones Arena on August 15, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. The Silver Ferns edged closer to their first netball World Cup title in 12 years with a ruthless 50-39 semi-final win over England at the netball World Cup in Sydney on Saturday.

They extended their unbeaten record at the tournament to seven games and on Sunday will meet the winner of the second semi-final between Jamaica and defending champions Australia.

Driven by an outstanding defensive effort, the New Zealanders dominated right from the outset, with every goal a struggle for England in the first quarter.

Youthful goal attack Helen Housby was almost completely shut out of the game, managing to sink just one shot from four.

England struggled for timing in the front third, Casey Kopua and Katrina Grant picking up good quality turnover ball for shooters Bailey Mes and Maria Tutaia to convert.

Tutaia, playing in her 101st game for New Zealand, shot impeccably in collecting nine from nine as the Silver Ferns shot out to an 11-5 lead.

The introduction of the vastly experienced Pam Cookey for Housby in the second quarter made all the difference for England.

They began to find space through the middle, midcourters Jade Clarke and Tamsin Greenway's feeding simplified as Harten and Cookey worked the circle beautifully.

Harten didn't miss a shot, sinking 10 from 10 as the Silver Ferns found their supply of turnover ball drying up.

They still took a 21-17 lead into halftime, but England were looking increasingly assured.

New Zealand wing defence Kayla Cullen took barely 30 seconds shatter that growing confidence.

She pounced on a loose pass as England probed the Kiwi midcourt zone for a gap, Tutaia converted and within two minutes the Silver Ferns' lead had doubled.

They maintained the intensity right through the spell, with Cullen particularly menacing in pressuring England wing attack Tamsin Greenway.

New Zealand's defensive zone pushed England wide in their drive to the circle, and the Kiwis were ruthless in punishing the errors.

Ahead 37-27 at the three-quarter mark, and with Kopua and Leana de Bruin allowing England's midcourt few options on the feed, the Silver Ferns maintained intensity for their most comprehensive win in Sydney to date.

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