2022 Taini Jamison Trophy preview

TWO of the world’s best netballing nations will clash in a three-game series starting this weekend, with Commonwealth Games Silver Medallists Jamaica travelling to Aotearoa to face the Silver Ferns. New Zealand is coming off a Bronze Medal at the same Commonwealth Games, having gone down to the Sunshine Girls in the semi-finals. In the home series – which features back-to-back tests in Hamilton on September 18-19, and a standalone one in Auckland on September 21 – New Zealand will go in as strong favourites for the Trophy.


The Taini Jamison Trophy was established in 2008, and has run annually since, bar 2012 and 2019. The three-game test series features New Zealand hosting a nation other than Australia, with the Silver Ferns having won nine of the 12 trophies. However the Silver Ferns’ grip on the trophy has loosened in recent years, with two of the past three series going to the visitor. That included in a special 2018 edition where Jamaica won the title with four teams competing, as the Silver Ferns welcomed Malawi and Fiji to join the Sunshine Girls in a round robin event. The past two editions have seen the Silver Ferns host England, defeating the Roses in a 2020 whitewash, before losing the trophy last year, 2-1.


In the trophy specifically, Jamaica has made the trip to Aotearoa on three past occasions, two of which were with other nations. In 2010, Jamaica played two matches against New Zealand with Samoa being the other invitational team, while in 2016, the Sunshine Girls made the trip south but were well beaten in each of the three matches. The 2018 round robin saw Jamaica smash Fiji, win narrow against Malawi and beat New Zealand in both the round robin and the final to head home undefeated from that series.


New Zealand Silver Ferns
Jamaica Sunshine Girls

Ameliaranne Ekenasio (captain)
Sulu Fitzpatrick
Maddy Gordon
Kate Heffernan
Kelly Jury
Phoenix Karaka
Grace Nweke
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan
Te Paea Selby-Rickit
Whitney Souness
Elle Temu
Maia Wilson

Gezelle Alison
Theresa Beckford
Mischa Creary
Tafiya Hunter
Abbeygail Linton
Simona Nelson (c)
Amanda Pinkney
Kimone Shaw
Abigale Sutherland
Adean Thomas
Quannia Walker
Latanya Wilson (vc)


New Zealand welcomes back some crucial players for the series, with captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio returning after missing the Commonwealth Games and will provide a real headache for the Sunshine Girls who are minus Shamera Sterling and Jodi-Ann Ward. Her accurate long-range shooting and versatility will allow the likes of Grace Nweke and Maia Wilson to have more efficient feeds under the post, while it is hard to deny that seeing Maddy Gordon back in the black dress will be exciting for the home team given the rising star’s potential.

Jamaica will look for a lot from stand-in captain Shimona Nelson who has big shoes to fill in the absence of arguably the world’s best shooter in Jhaniele Fowler. Nelson is one of just three players remaining from the Commonwealth Games, with defender Latanya Wilson and midcourter Adean Thomas also backing up for the series. Wilson is one who can provide physicality in the defensive goal circle, while Thomas is that X-factor in midcourt, and have a big job on the Silver Ferns’ midcourt which will include Whitney Souness, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Gordon.


Given the relative experience of these sides, it would be a disaster for New Zealand not to win this series and win it well on home soil. Jamaica has no more than two first-choice starting seven players from the Commonwealth Games in its lineup, while the Silver Ferns have gained far more experience and strength since their loss to the Sunshine Girls last month. New Zealand to please its fans and win 3-0 in the series.

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