Silver Ferns v England: NZ squander 10-goal halftime lead to surrender Taini Jamison Trophy

New Zealand have surrendered a 10-goal halftime lead to gift the Taini Jamison Trophy to a resurgent England Roses, 45-49 at Christchurch.

With the the three-match series tied at 1-1, the visitors began the deciding encounter with all the momentum, but appeared out of contention, when the Silver Ferns overpowered them 14-4 with a dominant second quarter.

But the Roses finished stronger - as they did for victory two nights earlier - methodically chipping away at the deficit to trail by four goals into the final quarter and sweeping past the tiring Kiwis down the home stretch. 

After their defeat on Wednesday, the Ferns came into the decider on the back foot, losing rookie sensation Tiana Metuarau and vice captain Sulu Fitzpatrick to injury, as they joined captain Gina Crampton on the sideline.

Already without her team's incumbent leadership combo - Amerliaranne Ekenasio (pregnant) and Jane Watson (ankle surgery) - coach Dame Noeline Taurua was forced to appoint her third captain for the week, handing the role to midcourt Sam Winders.

She fielded her most experience starting line-up and reaped the rewards, as they started slowly, but capitalised on a defensive masterclass from Kelly Jury and Karin Berger.

But Taurua chose to stick with her frontliners into the third quarter, while England rotated their players to good effect. Shooter George Fisher, Most Valuable Player in the second-test victory, was benched after halftime, with Eleanor Cardwell stepping into the role of attacking spearhead, converting 25/26 shots over the final half hour.

Cardwell scored the first four goals after the restart to seize the initiative for the Roses. 

The Ferns made their first substitution midway through the third period, when Kimiora Poi replaced Claire Kersten at centre, but by then, momentum had already swung back to England.

Throughout the series, the England defence had the Ferns midcourt in fits, trying to find a way to the attack circle, and when it counted most, that door was slammed shut on the feeders. 

NZ shooters Maia Wilson (13/14) and Te Paea Selby-Rickit (6/8) were efficient enough during the second half - they just didn't enjoy the same opportunities as their counterparts, who shot 12 more attempts.

Taurua inserted midcourt Peta Toeava and debutant defender Georgia Tong in the fourth quarter, but by that stage, it was more an effort to give some of her bench experience at international level.

"Serious missed opportunity, I think," offered Winders afterwards. "We're all so gutted.

"At halftime, we were, then a decline in the third and a blowout in that fourth. It was heartbeaking, man.

"We got smashed in that attacking end - it was an absolute battle to get the ball into our shooters, even to circle edge. England played to their strengths and put the pressure on us big time.

"When you're doing it again and again and again and again, it takes it's toll, but you have to be big enough to stand up at this level."

With next month's Constellation Cup against Australia postponed indefinitely, the Ferns have no more international opponents lined up, before next year's Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Instead, they face the NZ Men in a three-match series over October 10-12.

England 49 (Eleanor Cardwell 25/26, George Fisher 13/16, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis 11/12) NZ 45 (Maia Wilson 29/33, Te Paea Selby-Rickit 16/20)

Join us from October 10 for live updates of the Silver Ferns v NZ Men series