26 Jan 2018

Silver Ferns beat South Africa in crucial Quad Series match

10:45 am on 26 January 2018

The Silver Ferns have found success at the Netball Quad series beating hosts South Africa 51 to 46 at Ellis Park Arena, Johannesburg.

Silver Ferns goal shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit

Silver Ferns goal shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2017 www.photosport.nz

In a hard-fought must-win battle against the hosts, the Silver Ferns were caught off guard early with a strong South African defensive line, only managing to shoot at 65 percent. The hosts set the bar by scoring the first three goals but it was the better finishing Silver Ferns who went to the first break with a 14 to nine lead.

Toward the end of the second quarter, coach Janine Southby's decision to bench veteran shooter Bailey Mes proved critical. The injection of Southern Steel shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit lifting the shooting percentage into the nineties giving her side a 25 to 21 lead at half-time.

Mes may find it difficult to return to the line-up with the combination of mid-courter Grace Kara and Selby-Rickit making no mistake in the third spell, sinking eleven goals from eleven attempts. The Silver Ferns leading at three quarter time 39 to 34.

The last term saw South African goal keeper Phumza Maweni continue to cause havoc in defence, picking up a total of 11 deflections and an intercept - but the Silver Ferns showed some impressive defending of their own with captain Katrina Grant's intercept in the final four minutes shifting momentum their way.

Consistency for the full 60 minutes was the call for this game and the Silver Ferns didn't fail to deliver with defenders Grant, Samantha Sinclair and Temalisi Fakahokotau collectively gaining four intercepts and three deflections assisting in the five goal win for the defending champions.

The Silver Ferns will meet the Australian Diamonds in the final Netball Quad Series match in Johannesburg on Sunday night (NZT)

Player of the match - Grace Kara

Te Paea Selby Rickit - 20/25 80%

Maria Folau - 23/33 70%

Bailey Mes - 8/11 73%