28 Oct 2018

Ferns to face Jamaica in Fast5 netball final

7:00 pm on 28 October 2018

New Zealand will play off for Fast5 netball gold against Jamaica in the World Series final in Melbourne.

Aliyah Dunn

Aliyah Dunn Photo: Photosport

The Fast5 Ferns lost just one game in round robin play, edged 23-22 by Jamaica in their fourth match before going on to dispatch Malawi 36-16 to wrap up a spot in the final late on Sunday.

The Ferns always looked in control against Malawi, who beat them 57-53 at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year in the seven-a-side game.

The Kiwis quickly extended their 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter to 23-10 at halftime and 31-14 at the three-quarter mark, going on to underline the win with a strong defensive effort in the final spell.

Jamaica's only loss in round-robin play was a 37-22 defeat by Australia, and they wrapped up the second finals spot with their final 42-37 win over defending champions England.

New Zealand had kick-started their Fast5 campaign with a dominant 32-19 win over England before edging South Africa 39-36 in game two then downing traditional rivals Australia 34-32.

Coach Debbie Fuller was satisfied with her team's efficiency in collecting four wins from five starts.

"Winning's a great feeling and it gives us confidence to know that what we're doing is on the right track," she said.

"It's also testing our scope, so we know how far people can be extended, what they can do under pressure and this is the best way to find out."

New Zealand has an outstanding record in the shortened version of the game, having won the title on six occasions since the inception of the tournament in 2009, although last year they finished fourth and out of the medals for the first time.