Netball World Cup 2019: Silver Ferns spank Zimbabwe to remain unbeaten

  • 16/07/2019
Ameliaranne Ekenasio was in fine form for the Silver Ferns.
Ameliaranne Ekenasio was in fine form for the Silver Ferns. Photo credit: Photosport

The Silver Ferns have dismantled Zimbabwe to remain unbeaten at the Netball World Championships in Liverpool.

The 79-36 win on Tuesday (NZT) was a third straight dominating win for New Zealand, who next play Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe were no match for a physical Ferns side that easily combated the African nation's aggressive tactics.

Front-courter Gina Crampton was delighted they were able to match the early onslaught they had expected from Zimbabwe.

"We were very ready for a physical battle and in those first 7-8 minutes, we were going toe-to-toe with them, so it was nice we could absorb that pressure, and grind through it and finish strongly," Crampton said.

"I really like the thing we’ve got going on with our four shooters. 

"We're still playing the same structures, no matter who's on, but each one brings something a little bit different, which is good and we're still just building through that."

Playing in their first Netball World Cup, Zimbabwe level-pegged with the Silver Ferns, until the midway stage of the opening quarter.

The New Zealanders found the measure of their opponents, with star midcourter  Langman and player-of-the-match Crampton instrumental in delivering a speedy transition through the court.

The Silver Ferns midcourt defence pressured Zimbabwe, who struggled to penetrate, causing them to lose possession through the long-passing option that the New Zealand defence was well set up for.

Defender Jane Watson was a standout, as was shooter Maria Folau, who netted 23 goals from 25 attempts.

But the most pleasing aspect for coach Noeline Taurua would have been the accuracy of Folau's shooting partners, with Te Paea Selby Rickett (100 percent), Ameliaranne Ekenasio (83 percent) and Bailey Mes (80 percent) showing confidence under the net. 

Following the clash with Northern Ireland, the Ferns face a crucial period of the tournament, with a game against Australia to come before the semi-finals.