Good start for Ferns at Netball World Cup

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Silver Ferns have made a good start to the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, beating Malawi 64-45 in an assured display.

After a close first quarter that ended 17-11, the Ferns were able to pull away and dominate the rest of the game, with star shooter Maria Folau having a standout performance.

Folau was at her scintillating best, nailing 38 goals from 42 attempts while fellow shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio was equally dynamic in providing a strong support hand.

Defenders Jane Watson and veteran Casey Kopua were a constant thorn for the Malawi shooters, the pair picking off a string of turnover opportunities to keep their opponents to just six goals for the stanza.

With the Silver Ferns showing passages of real fluency on attack, Ekenasio, featuring in her first World Cup, became more of a presence in her combination with Folau. With more ball in their hands, the shooters helped the Silver Ferns skip out to a commanding 32-17 lead at the main break.

Gaining the upper hand, with Folau and Ekenasio seamless with their accuracy on shot, the Silver Ferns hit the last break with a dominant 49-30 lead.

The large lead meant that coach Noeline Taurua was able to use 11 of the 12 players dressed for the match, including easing in Katrina Rore who was returning from injury.

The Silver Ferns will meet Barbados in their second pool match at 10pm Saturday night (NZT).