Netball: Maia Wilson steps up in Grace Nweke's absence to lead Silver Ferns to huge World Cup win over Wales

If there were any nerves in the Silver Ferns' ranks after losing shooter Grace Nweke for the rest of their Netball World Cup campaign, they didn't show in the 83-34 victory over Wales in Cape Town.

For the second day in a row, Dame Noeline Taurua's side passed 80, as every member of the squad spent time on court before a rest day. 

Victory takes New Zealand to eight points at the top of Group G, setting the pace for a top-two finish that would see the defending champions advance to the semi-finals. 

Stepping up in the goal shoot bib, Maia Wilson landed a perfect 49 from 49 attempts in Nweke's absence, single-handedly outscoring Wales on her own. 

Kelly Jury against Wales.
Kelly Jury against Wales. Photo credit: Getty Images

Captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio offered valuable support from goal shoot, landing 15 from 16 of her own, as well as providing seven assists to Wilson.

In midcourt, Kate Heffernan shone with 20 goal assists and 26 feeds, complimented by Gina Crampton at wing attack, with 16 assists and 21 feeds of her own. 

Despite the hammer blow of losing Nweke before play on Monday (NZ time), the Silver Ferns didn't appear flustered inside the shooting circle. 

Maia Wilson and Ameliaranne Ekenasio shot at 100 percent in the first quarter, which New Zealand led 19-8.

In fact it took until the final minutes of the second quarter before a shot failed to find the target, when Ekenasio missed at 33-12 ahead. 

The third quarter saw the Ferns pass 50, as Tiana Metuarau entered the fray as Nweke's replacement.

Metuarau, who was initially named as a travelling reserve, replaced Ekenasio, and chipped in with four goals and eight assists in limited minutes, partnered with Te Paea Selby-Rickit (15 from 17).

Tuesday will be the Silver Ferns' first rest day of the tournament, before returning to face South Africa on Wednesday, and Jamaica on Thursday.

Group G rivals Jamaica have the chance to join the Silver Ferns on eight points when they meet Uganda later on Monday. 

Silver Ferns 83 (Wilson 49/49, Ekenasio 15/16. Selby-Rickit 15/17, Metuarau 4/5) 

Wales 34 (Rowe 18, Watkins 5/6, Matthewman 4/6, Yarranton 4/7, Kuti 3/3)

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