11 Sep 2016

Silver Ferns stun Jamaica

10:41 pm on 11 September 2016

The Silver Ferns have convincingly beaten Jamaica 72-34 in their first netball Test in the Taini Jamison Trophy series in Nelson.

Bailey Mes shoots a goal during the Silver Ferns first test against the Jamaican Sunshine Girls for the Taini Jamison Trophy.

Bailey Mes shoots a goal during the Silver Ferns first test against Jamaica Photo: Photosport

The visiting Sunshine Girls went goal for goal with New Zealand early in the first quarter.

But some great defence from the Ferns right through the court caused multiple turnovers for the home side and they took a 19-8 lead into the first break.

That strong cross-court defence kept up right through the match and paired with the Ferns' fast play on attack, the home side never looked like coming away with anything but a convincing victory.

Captain Katrina Grant said moving the ball quickly right through the court was something the Ferns team has been working hard on.

"We've been practicing on... our transition from [defence] to attack and letting the ball go and trusting each other," Grant said.

"There were definitely times where we just extended each other just a bit too far but those are things we've got to work on and these are the times to try things out."

Before the match coach Janine Southby said she wanted to give all 12 of her players game time during the Jamaica series, and during this first test 11 of them made it onto the court.

In her first start for the Silver Ferns Te Paea Selby-Rickit looked very comfortable in the goal attack bib, partnering well with shooter Bailey Mes and proving herself to be an asset in moving the ball through the mid court.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit shooting in first test against Jamaica in Taini Jamison Trophy series

Te Paea Selby-Rickit shooting against Jamaica Photo: Photosport

It was a step up from her debut against England in the Quad Series, where she looked nervous and at times hesitant when she was put into GA in the late stages of that match.

But on Sunday Selby-Rickit shot 15 goals from 18 attempts in her 30 minutes on court and moved with ease around the circle to prove she is a strong goal attack option for Janine Southby.

She was replaced at half time by Ameliaranne Ekenasio, who started shakily but soon found her groove and supported Bailey Mes well in the circle, shooting at 80%.

Mes had an outstanding game at goal shoot, scoring 41 of the Ferns' 72 goals which will provide her with a much-needed boost after an average second half against Australia last weekend in the Quad Series decider.

Southby made a number of other changes at half time - she brought Phoenix Karaka on at goal keep, Shannon Francois took up the centre position, while Laura Langman was moved to wing defence and Kayla Cullen benched, despite playing an almost faultless first half.

The changes didn't appear to slow the play through the court though, and the defence through the court remained as strong as ever.

In the second quarter, defenders Jane Watson and Katrina Grant went looking for more intercepts and as a result, Jamaica managed to get some easy balls into their goal shoot Shantal Slater.

But Karaka managed to shut that option down during the second half while also picking up turnovers for her side.

Silver Fern Storm Purvis playing Jamaica in Taini Jamison Trophy series

Storm Purvis makes her Silver Ferns debut against Jamaica Photo: Photosport

With six minutes to go, Southby made the final change of the match, bringing on Storm Purvis at goal defence in her Silver Ferns debut.

Purvis said the experience was a bit of a blur.

"It was the quickest six minutes of my life to be honest," she laughed.

"It was over really quickly and it was pretty crazy - I was saying to the girls if it was any longer than six minutes I don't know how I would've coped, but they reckon that's the debut feeling, so yeah it was great.

"I got the shoulder tap... with maybe eight minutes to go in the quarter, so it kind've came out of nowhere,"

Purvis said the team was stoked to put almost 40 goals on the Sunshine Girls in their first outing, particularly as they didn't really know what to expect from the team.

Both teams will now travel to Palmerston North for the second test on Wednesday, with the final test to be held in Rotorua on Saturday.

The winner of the series will claim the Taini Jamison Trophy.