The Vitality Roses secured a 54-41 win in what was a closely-fought opening match of the Vitality Netball International Series, as part of the Netball Quad Series.
England’s captain Serena Guthrie took the first centre pass of the game and the Roses set the tempo with Helen Housby scoring the first goal of the game, followed by another quick fire goal from Jo Harten.
After the Vitality Roses took a 3-0 lead in the first three minutes of the match, the Silver Ferns got on the scoreboard with a well-executed goal from Ameliaranne Ekenasio.
The Silver Ferns continued to build on their defensive pressure, gradually closing the gap towards the end of the first quarter with both sides then going goal for goal.
Following a fast-paced first quarter, the Vitality Roses finished with a slender 13-12 lead against the Silver Ferns.
Harten and Guthrie combined well at the start of the second quarter and the Vitality Roses drew first blood to take a 14-12 lead.
The Silver Ferns cut the gap and responded with several quick fire goals meaning both sides were square again and continued the tooth and nail goal for goal tempo throughout.
At half time the Vitality Roses led with yet another one goal difference. The score at half time following a warm reception from fans was 25-24 to England.
Another strong start for the Vitality Roses with Harten demonstrating her sharp shooting skills at the start of the third quarter meant England took a 26-24 lead.
The Silver Ferns refused to relent and excellent team work meant they upped their tally further within the first few minutes of the third quarter.
The Vitality Roses broke away from the goal for goal rhythm that continued in the first two quarters as smooth transitioning between Chelsea Pitman, Housby and Harten increased their advantage.
The score at the end of the third quarter was 40-30.
The Silver Ferns opened up the scoring in the last quarter but the Vitality Roses worked the ball down the court following an England centre pass and Housby secured yet another perfectly executed goal.
Natalie Haythornthwaite was brought on as GA in place of Housby in the last four minutes of the game, which followed a strong effort from Maria Folau and Ekenasio who added another four goals in a row to their tally.
The Vitality Roses continued to keep their cool and secured a 54-41 win in their first match in the Vitality Netball International Series, as part of the Netball Quad Series.
England’s starting 7 – Harten (GS), Housby (GA), Pitman (WA), Guthrie (C), Clarke (WD), Usoro-Brown (GD), Mentor (GK)
New Zealand’s starting 7 – Folau (GS), Ekenasio (GA), Souness (WA), Sinclair (C), Langman (WD), Kopua (GD), Watson (GK)