21 Jan 2015

Silver Ferns thump Samoa

7:43 am on 21 January 2015

The Silver Ferns continue to dominate the Oceania Netball Series in Suva after posting a comprehensive 89-23 win over Samoa.

Magic and Silver Fern shooter Ellen Halpenny.

Magic and Silver Fern shooter Ellen Halpenny. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

That followed an 81-28 win over hosts Fiji in Monday night's opening match.

Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu continued her trend of using the tournament to test her combinations with a view to the Netball World Cup later this year, casting her net further with two contrasting line-ups from the first night for the match-up against Samoa.

Goal shoot Ellen Halpenny was paired with Maria Tuataia, on the comeback trail from injury, and getting her first start since the Commonwealth Games five months ago.

Grace Rasmussen (wing attack), Camilla Lees (centre) and Kayla Cullen (wing defence) formed the midcourt unit while Leana de Bruin and rising talent Phoenix Karaka made up the in-circle defensive pairing.

Searching for their rhythm, the Silver Ferns made a scrappy start before building on a strong all-round defensive effort to draw into a position of dominance.

Tutaia was a decisive presence on attack and well supported by Lees as the Silver Ferns forged a 19-9 lead at the first break, which they extended to 39-15 at half time.

Tour captain Laura Langman was introduced at centre, keeping her remarkable unbeaten test run intact as she notched up her 114th consecutive international outing.

She was joined by Bailey Mes (goal shoot), Jodi Brown (goal attack), Shannon Francois (wing attack) and Katrina Grant (goal defence) with the Ferns leading 65-22 at three-quarter time.

Samoa and Fiji will square off tonight while the Silver Ferns round out their tour with a second match against Fiji in Suva on Thursday.

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