Silver Ferns thump South Africa in opener
The Silver Ferns have opened their Quad Series campaign with a predictable thumping of South Africa in Adelaide tonight.
Although nowhere near a vintage display by New Zealand, they managed to ease to a 63-27 victory at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu used two lineups - one for each half - as she got all but Shannon Francois out on court.
South Africa's regular captain Amanda Mynhardt missed the match through injury, while New Zealand skipper Casey Williams was left to wait till the second half to make her 15-month international comeback from a knee injury.
Taumaunu also opted to leave shooting star Irene van Dyk out of the action early against her former country.
Cathrine Latu took the goal shoot bib alongside Maria Tutaia, with Bailey Mes handed her debut at wing attack, in a midcourt also comprising Laura Langman and Anna Harrison, while Leana de Bruin and Katrina Grant were given the defensive duties.
The Ferns made a somewhat sloppy start in the first quarter with three missed shots and six turnovers given up.
Silver Fern No 152 Mes looked nervous, while Latu netted nine from 11 but should have had more through the hoop had she not given the ball away four times.
Both goal keeps - Grant and Vanes-Mari du Toit managed to pick up four intercepts in the first stanza and the Ferns went to the break up 14-9.
New Zealand missed their first two shots of the second quarter but then began to ease out.
Both sides managed to cough up nine turnovers in the period but the Proteas weren't able to capitalise, scoring only five goals.
The Ferns' two shooters each put up nine shots with Latu sinking all of hers and Tutaia five, as their side went to halftime ahead 28-14.
Taumaunu then rung the changes, with van Dyk on at goal shoot and Anna Thompson also injected into the shooting circle.
Langman moved to wing attack with Kayla Cullen brought on at centre, while Williams finally got back in the black dress at goal defence.
The Proteas also made two changes at the long break, though one of the new players - Lindie Lombard lasted less than two minutes before being forced off with a leg injury.
The Ferns went on a four-goal run to start the third quarter and tried to get as much flow as they could in a stop-start contest against due to their opposition's lack of pace.
Van Dyk went a perfect 16 from 16 for the quarter as the Ferns flexed their muscle by winning it 19-7 and going to three-quarter time with a 47-21 advantage.
As the South Africans began to tire, the Ferns kept the foot on the pedal, with van Dyk continuing at 100 per cent to finish with 28 from 28 - one better than South Africa's score.
The Ferns now move their attention to England, who they face in Newcastle on Wednesday night.
England yesterday gave the Australian Diamonds a decent run in the first half of their clash in Adelaide before being dealt to 64-40.
Silver Ferns 63 (14-14-19-16)
South Africa 27 (9-5-7-6)