Experimental Ferns too good for England A
The Silver Ferns completed an unbeaten five-match tour of Britain with a comprehensive 67-44 win over England A in London this morning.
Having won the previous two tests matches against England and Jamaica, Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu opted to experiment with youth over experience in the defensive end.
Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit got the nod alongside rookie Phoenix Karaka.
On-court captain Katrina Grant was moved out to the wing defence position to link with Camilla Lees at centre, Shannon Francois in the midcourt attack and Maria Tutaia and Irene van Dyk headed up the shooting end.
The Ferns were not altogether unfamiliar the England A side which included many players who featured in the FAST5 series last year. England A coach Jess Thirlby started with a strong line-up including 1.87m shooter Rachel Dunn.
"I was really pleased with the energy and accuracy of our play in the match," Taumaunu said.
"Shannon Francois had a great game feeding Maria Tutaia and Irene van Dyk and I was very happy with the low error rate throughout the court.
"I thought it was a near faultless performance from the shooters."
Four goals separating the sides at the first break but as the Ferns found their rhythm, Francois impressed with her speed to the top of the circle enabling quick ball into Tutaia and van Dyk.
By halftime the lead stretched to 13 with Taumaunu opting to inject Laura Langman and Joline Henry into the midcourt resulting in an instant lift in intensity as the Ferns restricted England A to just eight goals in the third quarter.
Tutaia shot 23/28 and van Dyk netted the bulk of the Ferns goals with 44/48.