Silver Ferns sneak into Games semi finals

1:36 am on 12 April 2018

Scotland have saved the Silver Ferns the humiliation of missing out on the semi finals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Coach Janine Southby of New Zealand reacts.

Coach Janine Southby of New Zealand reacts. Photo: Photosport

Uganda needed to beat Scotland by 37 goals or more if they were to make the top four at New Zealand's expense, but could only beat the Scots by 20 goals, 57-37.

New Zealand had to rely on that result going their way after losing to England 54-45 earlier today.

The Silver Ferns will now play the winner of the Australia - Jamaica game later tonight for a place in the final.

But their form against England suggests winning against either of those two nations will be difficult.

New Zealand started with Te Paea Selby-Rickit at goal shoot, and Maria Folau goal attack in their final pool game.

Selby-Rickit missed her first three attempts and England got an early 4-1 lead.

But defenders Katrina Grant and Temalisi Fakahokotau got crucial turnovers and Folau pulled off some stunning long shots.

At the end of the first quarter the scores were tied 12-all.

Selby-Rickit's shooting woes continued in the second quarter and coach Janine Southby sent her to the bench after she made just 8 from 14 attempts.

Bailey Mes went on at goal shoot for the last few minutes.

England finished ahead 26-25 at the main break.

Southby rung more changes for the third quarter. Folau went to goal shoot, Mes at goal attack.

Shannon Francois moved from centre to wing attack, Sinclair moved to centre, and Claire Kersten came on at wing defence.

Samantha Sinclair of New Zealand competes against Chelsea Pitman of England.

Samantha Sinclair of New Zealand competes against Chelsea Pitman of England. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

But the changes didn't work.

As soon as the Ferns chipped into the England lead, the Roses dug in and played with more fight.

Folau worked tirelessly, keeping the Ferns in the game and taking the lions share of the shooting.

England continued to pull away from the Ferns, and went into the final spell six goals ahead.

Selby-Rickit returned to the court for the final quarter, allowing Folau to go back to goal attack.

Mes ended with 3 from 4.

The Silver Ferns started to rally, getting some crucial turnovers. The intensity saw mistakes come from both sides.

Grant and Fakahokotau did their best to generate turnovers for New Zealand and the Ferns got to within 3.

But the shooting accuracy of England was superior and they grew in confidence as the minutes ticked down.

The Silver Ferns shooting accuracy cost them dearly - they ended at just over 70 percent, while England finished in the mid 80s.

The Ferns are likely to meet Australia in the semi-finals, making their chances of a gold medal match very difficult.