The Silver Ferns have overcome New Zealand A to claim a 59-44 win in their domestic quad series opener in Palmerston North on Wednesday.
The newlook Ferns, who have undergone a changing of the guard, were made to work hard for their points by a physical and determined NZ A side, but ultimately had too much firepower down the stretch in a contest where both teams struggled to find their rhythm.
Despite a shaky finish, teenager Grace Nweke impressed in her first outing in a black dress, while Kelly Jury was a rock defensively. Maddy Gordon and Monica Falkner were both standouts for NZ A.
The opening quarter was a sloppy affair for both teams, who were both clearly still finding their competitive feet and establishing new combinations.
In the second, the world champions found their flow and began to pull away, courtesy of Nweke, who was too much for the NZ A defence to handle under goal, helping her side take a 30-25 lead into the halftime break.
Heading into the second half, the Silver Ferns ramped up their pace and established a buffer that the NZ A side couldn't breach, pulling away to an 11-point advantage at the end of the third quarter.
NZ A were able to close that gap in the fourth quarter, until the Silver Ferns defence increased the intensity and closed out a low-scoring final stanza.
On Thursday, the Silver Ferns will play NZ Men, who overpowered NZ U21 73-44 in the opening game of the competition.
Join us for live updates of Silver Ferns v NZ Men from Thursday 8pm