Silver Ferns show no mercy in 40-goal rout

IN an even more commanding win than their 25-goal game one victory, New Zealand never looked like losing against an understrength Jamaican side in game two, to claim the Taini Jamison Trophy. The Silver Ferns dominated from the get-go, and aside from a comparatively close second term where the sides were separated by five goals, it was all one way traffic as the home team ran away from the Sunshine Girls to storm to a 40-goal win, 75-35.

Taking to the court at Pulman Arena, the Silver Ferns were able to give youngster Elle Temu another starting spot, with Grace Nweke and Ameliaranne Ekenasio again combining in the shooting circle. It was a big ask for the Jamaicans, with just the seven squad members available, and the likes of Romelda Aiken, Carla Borrego and 54 year-old coach Connie Francis filling out the bench. Captain Shimona Nelson and Gezelle Allison were at least capped Sunshine Girls, but the Silver Ferns defence of Temu, Kelly Jury and Phoenix Karaka was difficult to beat.

As expected, the Silver Ferns stormed away to lead 20-11 at quarter time, and though the visitors were more competitive in the second half, still found themselves trailing by 14 at the main break. Heading towards half-time, Kayla Johnson came on for Temu, and the experience in the back third lifted even further. At half-time, the Silver Ferns brought on Maia Wilson to replace Nweke, and she shot 15 goals from 16 attempts, as the midcourt work of Whitney Souness and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan was slicing up the Jamaican defence.

In the third quarter alone, the turnover count was heavily against Jamaica with 11 to two, and while Jamaica did make a few moves in the final term, it meant very little. Mischa Creary moved into goal attack for the last 15 minutes, with Abigale Sutherland (centre) and Adean Thomas (wing attack) switching positions at the break, while Allison surprisingly moved from goal attack to wing defence for something difference. It did not change the result though, as Dame Noeline Taurua brought on the remaining three players in Maddy Gordon, Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Sulu Fitzpatrick.

The second half was complete domination as the Silver Ferns scored 38 goals to 13 in that time and took a 14-goal half-time margin and blew it right out to 40 by the final whistle, to reclaim the Taini Jamison Trophy after losing it to England last year. Wilson ended her half with 30 goals from 31 attempts, topping that of Nweke (25 from 26) in the first half, and Ekenasio shooting 16 from 17 and having 10 goal assists. Reuelu-Buchanan helped herself to a massive 33 goal assists – more than the entire Jamaica side – as she and Karaka (two rebounds, three intercepts) were the only two Silver Ferns on for the full 60 minutes.

For Jamaica, Nelson shot 26 goals from 27 attempts, while Allison finished with seven from 12, as well as 13 goal assists. Thomas (eight goal assists, one gain and one intercept) and Sutherland (eight goal assists) also did what they could. Latanya Wilson put in another solid performance which featured three gains, one intercept, two deflections and two rebounds in a tough job out of goal defence throughout the contest.

The Silver Ferns will now prepare for their clash with Australia in the Constellation Cup next month, before a select group will head to England for the FAST5 World Series in early November.

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