Ferns blow lead, lose to England

England's Geva Mentor (L) wins the ball from New Zealand's Bailey Mes. Photo Getty
England's Geva Mentor (L) wins the ball from New Zealand's Bailey Mes. Photo Getty
With a chance to atone from a 4-0 battering by Australia in October's Constellation Cup, the Silver Ferns looked to stamp their mark on the Quad Series in their opener against England.

But, after controlling the majority of the game, questions are sure to be raised over their ability in pressure situations after the side gave up a six-goal fourth quarter lead to drop the opening match 64-57 in extra time.

The New Zealand side were out-scored 12-6 in the final quarter, before England ran away with a 15-8 advantage in the extra period.

It was far from the start the Kiwi side had set out for, and adds to the presuure heading into the second match against South Africa on friday morning (NZ time).

Things started well for the New Zealand team. Shooting duo Maria Folau (11-11) and Bailey Mes (5-5) were perfect from the floor as they led their team to a 16-12 advantage after the opening period of action.

England fought back in the second quarter thanks in large part to a perfect quarter from goal attack Helen Housby which lifted her side to a one-point lead at half time.

The Silver Ferns came out of the half time break firing on all cylinders and controlled the quarter. But despite Mes and Folau having another perfect quarter, the star was goal-keep Temalisi Fakahokotau who was a pest in the passing lanes and picked off four English attacks to see the Ferns out-score England 15-8 in the third.

With a lead and all the momentum behind them, it looked as though the Ferns just needed to maintain the composure and trade goals with England to win.

Instead, England (16) had twice as many shot attempts than the Ferns (8) in the final period - capitslising on five Ferns turnovers - and forced an extra period of play.

Again, England got up more shots than the Ferns which proved to be the defining factor as the Roses ran away with the game in the 14-minute extra period.

The seven-goal margin was the largest of the seven wins against New Zealand.

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