Final quarter blitz sees Kiwis through to decider

NEW ZEALAND has completed the round robin stage of the 2023 Quad Series with a solid 55-45 win over England.

England went with the Silver Ferns for much of the game, but it was the last quarter that really let the Roses down.

It was all England to open the match, as the Roses dominated territory and possession but just could not fully capitalise on the scoreboard.

It took New Zealand three minutes to get its first goal on the board, and while England had two, the scoreboard could well have read double that.

England held the slight lead for much of the opening half of the quarter, but as the period progressed New Zealand wrestled back momentum and went on a run of consecutive goals.

This late momentum swing ensured it was New Zealand who went into the first break with a three-goal lead.

Carrying on the momentum, New Zealand started the better side in term two, scoring four goals before England could find its first.

That would be the telling difference as New Zealand maintained its lead for the majority of the quarter.

The game was highly defensive – as it had been for much of the opening half – which limited the scoring for both sides.

This saw the Silver Ferns win the quarter 12 goals to nine, and as such take a six-goal lead into the main break.

New Zealand maintained its lead to begin the third term, but as the quarter progressed there was a momentum shift and England started to come right back at the Silver Ferns.

England reduced the margin back to one during the quarter, but thanks to a late goal to New Zealand the margin was two at the final change despite England also winning the quarter by four.

England levelled things up and then took the lead in the opening five minutes of the final quarter, but then New Zealand regained momentum and was rewarded with a handy buffer.

England then just stopped scoring as New Zealand dominated the quarter to win the quarter by eight and the match by 10.

For the Silver Ferns Grace Nweke (44 goals from 48 attempts) proved prolific at goal shooter, while Phoenix Karaka (seven gains, two intercepts and five deflections) was brilliant in defence, as was Gina Crampton through midcourt (37 feeds, 23 assists).

Meanwhile for England, Eleanor Cardwell did the bulk of the shooting work and was on fire early, while Funmi Fadoju (seven deflections, six gains and an intercept) was really strong in defence. Jade Clarke (16 feeds) also ran well through midcourt.

ENGLAND           12 | 9 | 14 | 10 (45)
NEW ZEALAND  15 | 12 | 10 | 18 (55)

Starting Sevens


GS: Eleanor Cardwell
GA: Helen Housby
WA: Natalie Metcalf
C: Imogen Allison
WD: Layla Guscoth
GD: Funmi Fadoju
GK: Geva Mentor

New Zealand

GS: Grace Nweke
GA: Te Paea Selby-Rickit
WA: Gina Crampton
C: Kate Heffernan
WD: Karin Burger
GD: Pheonix Karaka
GK: Jane Watson

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