Tracey Neville’s side will be out to prove a point in Sunday’s second game and send the International Series to a decider.
Following the England Roses’ victory against New Zealand Silver Ferns in the Quad Series, both teams were determined to impress in the first of three matches in the Taini Jamison Trophy.
Both teams made a great start which was reflected in the score after the first quarter which stood at 15-15.
It was a hard-fought contest with the Roses and the Silver Ferns committed, spirited and driven throughout.
Heading into the final quarter New Zealand had a two-goal cushion but the Roses came out fighting as they took the lead less than five minutes into the last 15.
Backed by the vocal home crowd, the Silver Ferns came on strong and started to dictate the play to pull clear at 53-50 with six minutes to go.
The Roses were in need of turnovers in the closing stages but Janine Southby’s side saw the game out well.
The opener represented an important stage in the team’s learning and development process in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games and there were definitely positives to take.
Sara Bayman stepped onto the court for the first time since the squad arrived in New Zealand and combined well with the shooters, providing 38 feeds.
GK Geva Mentor also made an impact, displaying her experience and making her presence felt by allowing the Silver Ferns’ shooters minimal space on court.
England now have a few days to regroup, reflect and prepare for the second match of the series in Napier.
The Roses may only have beaten the Silver Ferns five times in all their previous meetings, but they’re certainly capable of adding to that tally.
They will want to go into the final match with everything still to play for in the Taini Jamison Trophy so Sunday’s match will be one to watch.
The Roses will be in action on the following dates – all times are BST.
Taini Jamison Trophy
Sunday 10th September: New Zealand Silver Ferns v England Roses, Napier, 3am
Wednesday 13th September: New Zealand Silver Ferns v England Roses, Hamilton, 8:30am
You can follow the England Roses on tour via our official twitter account @England_Netball and watch every single match LIVE exclusively on Sky Sports.