Silver Ferns run hot in thrashing of Scotland

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 08:57 13/01/2014

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Netball

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The Silver Ferns handed Scotland a massive 72-18 hiding in this morning's exhibition netball match in Glasgow.

New Zealand were always going to be too good for the Thistles and so it proved.

Scotland, as the score would suggest, struggled to get the ball through court and weren't always that confident when it came to shooting either. That despite the Silver Ferns fielding a decidedly second string defensive circle pairing for the second half in Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Phoenix Karaka.

New Zealand coach Waimarama Taumaunu had shown the Scottish good respect by starting with a strong line.

Cathrine Latu and Jodi Brown had a rare outing together in the shooting circle and captain Laura Langman was pushed out to wing attack with Millie Lees in at centre for her first netball game, outside of intra-squad matches, since the trans-Tasman Netball League finished.

From there it was the best available line-up, with Joline Henry, Katrina Grant and Leana de Bruin forming the defensive trio.

Only Lees and Langman were still on court come the start of the third quarter as New Zealand built up a useful 35-7 lead. Courtney Tairi got a run in Henry's place at wing defence.

Tairi isn't strictly part of the touring party, but with the match not a test the Silver Ferns were also able to use their training partners like Tairi.

Of the 16 players on the trip, only Casey Kopua and Bailey Mes won't be allowed to take the court in any of the exhibition games, on medical grounds.

The fact this wasn't an international was underscored by the fact New Zealand did not wear their traditional black dress. Instead it was the singlet and skorts that the team reserve for practice matches.

It was good for Lees to get significant gametime after missing all of last year's international programme due to a foot stress facture, while Karaka had some useful moments in her first outing at this level.

The teams meet in Glasgow again on Wednesday morning (NZT).

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