Commonwealth Games: Tall Ferns show class to beat Canada to bronze

  • 14/04/2018
Commonwealth Games: Tall Ferns show class to beat Canada to bronze
Photo credit: Getty

The Tall Ferns have coasted to a 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medal with their 74-58 defeat of Canada.

Hours after their male Tall Blacks counterparts were upset by the Canadians in their semi-final, the Ferns made no such mistake.

They raced out to an early 16-12 first-quarter lead, with Micaela Cocks dictating proceedings, and stretched their lead to eight by half-time.

Their third quarter was even more dominant, as Cocks made space for Natalie Taylor to drain several three-pointers and help her side to a 57-39 advantage.

From that point, victory - and Games bronze - was a mere formality, despite a late Canadian surge to come within 10 points of New Zealand.

The 35-year-old Taylor notched 18 points by the match's end, all of which from behind the three-point line, while Cocks earned 16.

Charlisse Leger-Walker also chipped in with 18 points late on.

Kalani Purcell dominated the boards for seven defensive rebounds, getting her side out of jail against Canada's tall centres, particularly Ruth Hamblin.

The Kiwis made 28 defensive rebounds in total.

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Buzzer beater stuns Tall Blacks in semi-final with Canada

The Tall Blacks have fallen to a disastrous 88-86 loss to Canada in their Commonwealth Games semi-final, relinquishing the chance to take on trans-Tasman rivals Australia for the gold medal.

The Kiwis suffered through a poor first half, trailing 45-42 at oranges, before an even worse third quarter in which they gave up 30 points.

That defensive display - including 26 turnovers and 12 stolen balls - ultimately condemned them to defeat after a fourth-quarter recovery act fell short.

Driven by point guard Shea Ili, who nabbed 23 points, New Zealand dominated in the final period to lead 86-85 with five seconds left.

But Canadian ace Mamadou Gueye nailed a last-gasp three pointer.

Having defeated Canada 82-60 in pool play, the Tall Blacks will now have to settle for a bronze-medal match against lowly Scotland on Sunday.

Among the New Zealanders, Ili produced the goods, while Mika Vukona and Tom Abercrombie managed 13 points apiece.

New Zealand had been the only team to test Australia during the pool games, leading the Boomers midway through the final quarter before eventually going down 79-73.

So widely assumed was it that they would meet again in the final that Australia's coaches and players spoke about the probable rematch minutes after their 103-46 romp over Scotland.

"That's going to be a hell of a game - gold medal on the line, a big event, Australia v New Zealand, it's going to be a fantastic contest, I can't wait," Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis said.

"The first time we played New Zealand, we didn't move the ball that well, we were taking contested shots and we managed get over the line in the last quarter."

An Australia-New Zealand final would given the basketball competition the contest it had been craving.

Instead the Boomers will get a rematch with Canada, a team they crushed by 40 points a week ago.

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