Netball World Cup 2019: Silver Ferns relieved to put Malawi behind them

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua was happy for her team to put Malawi behind them to start the Netball World Cup campaign with a win.

But she's adamant there's plenty still to improve if they hope to challenge for the title again in Liverpool.

New Zealand ran out 64-45 winners over their African rivals, who had shocked them with a four-goal win - their first ever over the Silver Ferns - at last year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Malawi are currently ranked ninth in the world - five spots behind New Zealand - but that seems farcical given their previous result. Regardless, the 'Queens' will likely present their toughest opposition in the tournament's first round.

The Ferns face Barbados (11th) on Saturday and Singapore (26th) on Sunday.

"I thought we were a bit rusty out there and probably not quite what I was expecting, but that's also giving respect to Malawi," admitted Taurua afterwards.

"They're so unorthodox in their play and very patient, so we got caught sometimes, chasing from one side to another.

"In saying that, I thought when they did cough up ball, we took advantage of that. Error rate was really low, shooting percentage was really high - I think it's just consolidating the strategy."

Among them, NZ shooters Maria Folau (39/43), Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Te Paea Selby-Rickit converted 91.4 percent of their attempts.

"There was a lot of hype around Malawi, because of that link to the Commonwealth Games, so I'm really pleased that they're out of the way," said Taurua.

"There are still combinations that I want to get out there and have a look, and probably over the next two days, we will."

All the other leading teams enjoyed comfortable victories in their opening matches, with champions Australia romping home 88-24 over Northern Ireland. Their four shooters converted a combined 88/92 (96 percent) under goal.

Jamaica cruised home 85-29 over Fiji, South Africa accounted for Trinidad & Tobago 76-45 and hosts England got home 64-32 over Uganda.

Barbados overwhelmed Singapore 69-34, with the top three teams from the group moving into the second round.