13 Aug 2015

Silver Ferns squeeze past Malawi Queens

11:35 am on 13 August 2015

The Silver Ferns have survived a huge scare by the Malawi Queens at the Netball World Cup in Sydney.

Casey Kopua

Casey Kopua Photo: Photosport

The tournament's fifth-ranked team got to within two goals of the Ferns in the final quarter but New Zealand held on 57-49.

Jodi Brown was given the starting bib at goal attack, while Shannon Francois was named at wing attack, the only real changes to the side.

The Silver Ferns went on a six-goal scoring spree to open the game but Malawi regrouped after a tactical time out and climbed to within three at the end of the first quarter.

The Ferns had a better second quarter, to go into the half-time break with a seven goal advantage 30-23.

But the Queens continued to frustrate the Ferns and, spurred on by the crowd, won the third quarter, trailing the Ferns by just three going into the final term.

At that point Brown, who took a knock to the back, was replaced by Maria Tutaia.

The Ferns eventually pulled away in the final minutes.

Coach Wai Taumaunu said they were perplexed by some of the off-the-ball contacts that weren't penalised.

Bailey Mes finished with 33 from 38 attempts, and Brown 16 from 19 from her three-quarters.

The Malawi goal shoot Mwai Kumwenda impressed with a 38 from 42 return.

The coaching staff will be concerned about how easily rattled the New Zealand side got.

Meanwhile hosts Australia edged closer to the semis with a 66-31 rout of South Africa. England did the same with an even more comprehensive 78-33 thrashing of Wales.

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