New Zealand marched imperiously to the top of the table after a dominant 52-19 win over South Africa in their second outing on the second day of the Fast5 World Netball Series in Auckland on Saturday.
A mix of multiple point shooting success, stifling defence and enjoyment of the abbreviated version of netball left the Fast5 Ferns unbeaten after four outings as they went on to secure the highest total of the tournament, surpassing their own previous high (44) against Malawi in the previous match.
It was only a matter of minutes before the Fast5 Ferns abandoned the traditional style as Bailey Mes and Maria Tutaia sunk two two-point goals apiece top propel the home team to an 11-4 first quarter lead.
Nothing was lost when Anna Thompson and Irene van Dyk took over under the hoop, Thompson revelling in the format with a rapid-fire three-pointer and two two-pointers. Slick through court, the Fast5 Ferns were seamless in transition while the
combined defensive efforts of Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickt, Leana de Bruin, Katrina Grant and Anna Harrison were relentless in denying South Africa any leeway.
Sprinting out to a 23-7 halftime lead, the Fast5 Ferns inflicted further misery during the Proteas third quarter power play.
Laboured through court, South Africa’s shooters were off target as they fought for respectability through the double points on offer. There were no such problems for the Fast5 Ferns’ shooters, Tutaia, Mes and Thompson sinking long range efforts on a regular basis.
Keeping South Africa scoreless until the last minute of their power play paid huge dividends for the Fast5 Ferns, who turned at the last break with a 30-13 lead and with their own power play just ahead.
The floodgates opened with long range expert Tuatia revelling in the conditions, two three-pointers bringing the crowd to its feet in helping the Fast5 Ferns seal a dominant outing.
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