8 Aug 2015

Silver Ferns win World Cup opener

10:55 am on 8 August 2015

The Silver Ferns have opened their Netball World Cup Campaign with an easy 73-28 win over Barbados.

The Silver Ferns celebrate their win over Barbados in their Netball World Cup opener, Sydney, 7 August 2015

The Silver Ferns celebrate their win over Barbados Photo: Photosport

New Zealand coach Wai Taumaunu was able to give her entire squad a run, with the world's ninth-ranked team not offering much resistance.

Aside from starting Laura Langman at wing defence and Shannon Francois at centre, it was a largely predictable line-up.

The Silver Ferns enjoyed a dominant opening quarter, going up 21-7, then went into the main break 36-13.

Goal shoot Bailey Mes scored 24 from 31 attempts from her first-half effort.

Silver Ferns shooter Bailey Mes catches the ball as Barbados goalkeeper Shonette Bruce tries for the intercept at Allphones Arena, Sydney, August 7th 2015

Silver Ferns shooter Bailey Mes catches the ball as Barbados goalkeeper Shonette Bruce tries for the intercept Photo: Photosport

Among a host of changes made at half-time, Malia Paseka and Jodi Brown were injected in to the shooting circle, Langman moved to centre, and a new defensive pairing were introduced.

Leana de Bruin's appearance meant she became one of just six players to play in five World Cups.

After the break, Barbados had their best quarter while the Ferns took time to adjust but then the New Zealanders put on a clinical 20-4 final quarter to seal the game.

The Ferns meet Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, while the highly anticipated match against Australia takes place on Sunday.

But the opening day was overshadowed by tragedy for the English coach.

Tracey Neville's father died in hospital in Sydney following their emphatic 60-19 victory over Scotland.

Neville Neville fell critically ill after suffering a heart attack on arrival in Australia to watch his daughter, a former England star herself, take the helm for her first world titles.

The 65-year-old died later on Friday evening.

Tracey Neville left the venue straight after proceedings for St Vincent's Hospital where the former league cricketer and football agent was being cared for.

It's understood her brothers Gary and Phil Neville, the former English football stars, are also in Sydney, having flown in from the UK after hearing the news.

England Netball have confirmed 38-year-old Tracey will continue as coach for the duration of the world titles.

In other opening day results, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls put on a comprehensive 46-goal win over Samoa, while hosts and favourites the Diamonds thrashed Trinidad & Tobago 73-32.

In the all-Africa affair Malawi defeated South Africa 58-51. Uganda also defeated fellow African nation Zambia by 36 goals.