Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Silver Ferns bounce back to claim bronze with win over England

The Silver Ferns have claimed bronze at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, defeating hosts England 55-48 in the third place play-off.

A day on from an emphatic 67-51 semi-final loss to Jamaica, Dame Noeline Taurua's side avoided the tag of becoming the second Silver Ferns side to end a Commonwealth Games without a medal.

Young shooter Grace Nweke led the scoring to finish her first Commonwealth Games, scoring 44 from 48 attempts, as Te Paea Selby-Rickit added 11 from 14 playing at goal attack.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit.
Te Paea Selby-Rickit. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

In defence, Kelly Jury also stated her case to be New Zealand's first choice at goal keeper, marshalling the Silver Ferns' efforts to nullify England's shooting duo of Eleanor Cardwell (31 from 34) and Helen Housby (13 from 17).

"That was massive," Dame Noeline Taurua said post-match. 

"It's been a really good experience for this team and the opportunity to watch what it takes to be a top-four team.

"I did believe [in] our ability ball retention, our ability to take them on, in both attack and defence, and a low error rate, and everybody doing their jobs.

It's not anything new that we've been messaging, it's our ability to execute and we did that well today.

"I couldn't be more proud of the players and what they put out there.

The victory saw the Silver Ferns get revenge over England, after losing 54-44 to their hosts in their final pool match.

Bronze is an acceptable achievement for the Silver Ferns in Birmingham, considering the unavailability of senior players including captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Jane Watson and Karin Burger.

"For us to come with our current lineup, and come [away] with a medal, be in contention and be a medallist is massive for us moving forward," Dame Noeline added.

"Knowing we've still got more work to do, but knowing the new breed of player coming through is really exciting."

The Silver Ferns will return home for a series against Commonwealth Games finalists Jamaica starting in September, before the Constellation Cup against Australia in October.