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14 July 2019 | Uncategorized

New Zealand far too strong for brave Singapore

New Zealand cemented their place at the top of Group B as they comfortably saw off Singapore with a dominant 89-21 win in the day’s opening game at the M&S Bank Arena.

The Silver Ferns seemed determined to send out a message to the rest of their rivals as they recorded their largest margin of victory so far in the competition and maintained their 100% record.

The match was the first time the two teams had met in the Netball World Cup since 1975 when New Zealand claimed victory, and they were heavy favourites once again, heading into the contest with Singapore still searching for their first win.

After their impressive 78-25 win over Barbados yesterday, the Silver Ferns continued from where they had left off as they raced into a 9-0 lead with only five minutes played.

Singapore finally netted their first goal of the game moments later, but they found it tough against a well-organised New Zealand defence. When Singapore did get shooting opportunities, they struggled to convert, making just five of their ten goal attempts.

The Silver Ferns continued to build their lead as Maria Folau and Te Paea Selby-Rickit, who made her first start of the tournament, combined to score 20 of their 21 goal attempts as the first quarter finished 20-5 to New Zealand.

The second quarter began in a similar pattern to the first as New Zealand racked up four unanswered goals before Charmaine Soh scored Singapore’s first goal of the period.

That proved to be their only goal for the next eight minutes as they struggled to create opportunities against New Zealand’s relentless defence and the Silver Ferns capitalised as they scored 14 in a row before Soh ended the drought for Singapore.

Led by Maria Folau’s elite shooting performance as she made 27 of her 28 first half goal attempts, New Zealand led 43-8 at half time, winning the quarter 23-3.

The third quarter began as a much more even contest with both sides converting their goal attempts. Pei Shan Lee and Kai Wei Toh replaced Soh and Xinyi Tan for Singapore which gave them an initial attacking boost.

Singapore still struggled to deal with New Zealand’s attack, however, and their swift passing and movement continued to create opportunities as Selby-Rickit and Ameliaranne Ekenasio shot 91% to extend their lead to 63-14.

In the fourth quarter Singapore enjoyed their best attacking period scoring seven goals but they could do nothing to halt New Zealand who finished the game in style, winning the quarter 26-7. Selby-Rickit continued her efficient shooting to finish the game having made 36 of her 38 goal attempts.

The result means that New Zealand advance – with six points – into Group F in Preliminaries Stage Two, whilst Singapore will be hoping to secure their first victory of the tournament as they move into Group E.

New Zealand goal keeper Casey Kopua said:

“It was another opportunity to get out on court and fine tune the gameplan but also to be able to have a bit of fun. It’s important for us to move forward every day and take what we can from each game into the next one.

“In the game we had a lot of structures that we were trying to work on no matter what was happening, so that was good to work on and play the gameplan that we want to play.”