Netball World Cup: Silver Ferns begin Cup defence with demolition of Trinidad and Tobago

  • 28/07/2023

The Silver Ferns have launched their Netball World Cup defence with a resounding 76-27 win over Trinidad and Tobago in South Africa on Friday.

The women from the Caribbean were completely outmatched against the New Zealanders, who - wearing their new alternate silver dress - dominated across the court in a one-sided contest at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The extensive pre-tournament preparations under coach Dame Noeline Taurua's guidance appeared to have paid dividends, as the defending champions looked slick from the outset. 

Karin Burger in action.
Karin Burger in action. Photo credit: Getty Images

Led by outstanding wing defence and player of the match Karin Burger, the NZ defenders made life miserable all evening for the Trinidadians, suffocating them through the midcourt with a slew of interceptions and forced errors.

At the other end of the court, their opposition had no answer for the size, power, and skill of Ferns shooter Grace Nweke, who feasted underneath the basket with a flawless 31 goals from as many attempts.

Maia Wilson added 22/24, alonngside Te Paea Selby-Rickit (15/19) Ameliaranne Ekenasio for an overall team shooting percentage of 96.

“In patches I think we did our job really well, and I was proud of what we put out," said captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio.

"But in other patches, I think we could have been better in being a little more clinical and more controlled with ball in hand, but it’s good to get the first one out of the way."

They scored nine straight goals before their opponents troubled the scorers after almost six minutes of play, setting the tone for what was to come.

Their 23-2 lead at the end of the first quarter snowballed into an absurd 43-11 at the half, in a match that resembled more of a training run for the New Zealanders and a chance for Dame Noeline to test drive some of her combinations.

Trinidad and Tobago offered more resistance to start the second half - particularly defensively - but not enough to result in any sort of contest, with the deficit 58-20 at the end of the third quarter.

The Silver Ferns will be back in action on Saturday for their second match against Uganda, before rounding out their Pool D schedule against Singapore on Sunday.

Join Newshub at 7pm, Saturday for live updates of Silver Ferns v Uganda