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Silver Ferns trample Thistles in opening game
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Silver Ferns trample Thistles in opening game

New Zealand started their tour of England and Scotland with a comprehensive 72-18 win over Scotland in their opening match in Glasgow.

The two exhibition games against Scotland are helping the defending Commonwealth Games gold medallists to familiarise themselves with the area ahead of the showcase event this year.Coach Waimarama Taumaunu used the game to get 14 of her 16-strong touring party on court, with Casey Kopua and Bailey Mes the only two players not considered for play due to their injury recovery.

New squad member Phoenix Karaka got her first taste of international netball after being brought off the bench at half time into the defensive circle with the favourites already leading 35-7 at the halfway stage.

Scotland, coached by Kiwi Gail Parata, struggled early on with the pace set by the Silver Ferns, particularly the transition from defence to attack where the New Zealanders moved the ball at speed throughout the court.

Taumaunu made three personnel changes at the first break with Irene van Dyk replacing Cathrine Latu at goal shoot, Shannon Francois at wing attack and Courtney Tairi at centre.  Scotland also made changes in their mid-court with Samantha Murphy moving to wing attack and Fiona Moore coming off the bench to centre.

Goal attack Jodi Brown dictated play in the frontline while the Ferns’ defence line tightened up even more in the second quarter, with Joline Henry, Katrina Grant and Leana de Bruin forcing numerous turnovers.

The defence through the mid-court also stemmed the flow of ball for the Scots as New Zealand proved relentless with their pressure throughout the 60 minutes.

Scotland had little answer and were restricted to one goal for much of the second spell and the third quarter.  They hit double figures late in the third quarter.

The Ferns won the quarter 19-3 and Taumaunu opted for more changes heading into the final 15 minutes with Latu and Maria Tutaia teaming up for the first time in the match.


Karaka continued to impress in the circle alongside Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit while Tairi played the second half at wing defence.

Scotland’s attacking play was at its best in the last spell, having injected some speed into their play, as their confidence grew with both their links and finishing.

New Zealand play Scotland in the second exhibition match on Wednesday morning (NZT).

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