Netball World Cup: Silver Ferns fall to Jamaica, but poised for semi-final showdown against England

Despite defeat to Jamaica, the Silver Ferns have advanced to the semi-finals of the Netball World Cup.

New Zealand went down 59-48 at Cape Town, but progressed, after South Africa failed to beat Uganda by enough goals to leapfrog the reigning champions on goal difference. 

Karin Burger battles for possession.
Karin Burger battles for possession. Photo credit: Getty Images

South Africa had to beat Uganda by 63 goals in the last match to better New Zealand's far superior goal difference, but only managed a 52-50 victory.

The Silver Ferns will now play England in the semi-finals, after they stunned Australia 56-55 in the earlier game.

Both New Zealand and Jamaica made several positional changes from their last fixture, with Dame Noeline Taurua making four.

Goal defence Karin Burger started the game with an athletic interception to kickstart a period of early New Zealand dominance, but while both teams showed great patience on attack, Jamaica surged late in the first quarter to take a 15-11 lead at the first break.

They upped the ante on defence, forcing tough shots, with Shamera Sterling blocking and collecting Ameliaranne Ekenasio's first attempt of the second quarter.

A mid-quarter flurry saw New Zealand dig into Jamaica's lead, with Burger again winning a  turnover to inspire a counterattack.

Silver Ferns goal shooter Maia Wilson found herself on the wrong end of the umpire's whistle on several occasions to stunt her team's flow on attack, but her physical presence forced Jamaica star Sterling to infringe and receive a warning for constant obstruction, before she limped off the court with an injury.

Like the first, Jamaica finished strong at the end of the second quarter, halting a New Zealand fightback to lead 26-23 at halftime.

New Zealand struggled to get out of the blocks at the start of the second half, as Jamaica ticked the score over, with goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler at the forefront.

Despite Jamaica's dominance, Dame Noeline kept faith in her starting side, with no changes as the end of the third quarter approached.

Ekenasio's goal near the end meant New Zealand had won their second straight quarter, but Jamaica still held a 41-39 lead heading into the final 15 minutes.

Jamaica asserted their dominance at the start of the fourth quarter, producing a 5-3 run, with only the wet floor proving difficult.

New Zealand's Jane Watson received a warning on defence, as the Kiwis looked to physically impose themselves on the 'Sunshine Girls', but they could do little to stop Jamaica from closing out an emphatic win to top their group and set up a mouthwatering semi-final against Australia.

Join Newshub at 9pm Saturday for live updates of the NZ v England Netball World Cup semi-final