Commonwealth Games: Silver Ferns sneak into semi-finals after favourable results

  • 11/04/2018

The Silver Ferns have snuck into the semi-finals after a couple of favourable results at the Commonwealth Games.

Following their second defeat on the Gold Coast at the hands of England on Wednesday, New Zealand were forced to rely on the outcomes of the day's later games.

Uganda needed to beat Scotland by at least 35 goals, but fell 15 short in their win.

While Malawi required an unlikely 70-goal victory over Wales, but 15 goals was all that seperated the two sides at the end of their fixture.

Had either of those scenarios had played out, it would have been the first time the Ferns have failed to make the Games final, let alone the semi-finals.

In the five tournaments since netball was introduced to the Commonwealth Games in 1998, they have won gold twice and never finished worse than runners-up.

New Zealand's most recent loss to England have raised serious doubts on their medal chances.

The Silver Ferns began the match strongly, showing their best form of a week that has also included unconvincing performances against Uganda and Wales.

Defender Temalisi Fakahokotau and shooter Maria Folau were probably the pick of the Kiwis, but Folau struggled to find support in the attack circle, with neither Te Paea Selby-Rickit nor Bailey Mes finding goal consistently.

As the contest wore on, England gained an upper hand and New Zealand were not able to fully capitalise on any errors from their opponents.

Afterwards, captain Katrina Grant broke down in a courtside interview when TVNZ commentator and former Silver Fern midcourt Jenny-May Clarkson questioned the players' pride in the 'black dress'.

"Of course we've got pride in this black dress," insisted Grant through her tears. "It means a lot to every single one of us.

"We were young girls growing up, playing netball and this is all we wanted, so there's a lot of pride in this black dress and this is hard to take." 

Coach Janine Southby was also grilled about her performance, which included back-to-back losses to Jamaica last month in the team's final pre-Games hit-out.

"We are as frustrated as anyone else out there," she told Clarkson.