Strong finish for the Ferns

The Silver Ferns have ended the Netball Quad Series on a high, beating South Africa 70-39 in their final match in London this morning.

New Zealand outclassed South Africa from start to finish in the match, shooter Bailey Mes made 28 of her 30 attempts while Tutaia slotted 27 from 34.

Tutaia proved the difference in the match; she only missed one shot in the opening 15 minutes of the match, almost matching South Africa's attempts in the first quarter alone.

The Silver Ferns built on their lead in the second quarter, continuing to impress on attack where centre Shannon Francois reveled in the space provided with an influential performance.

Goalkeeper Jane Watson was also a key figure, her disruptive presence keeping dangerous South Africa shooter Lenize Potgieter in check.

With the team chipping away effectively, shooter Bailey Mes was introduced late in the first half, the Silver Ferns in the driver's seat after pushing out to a 30-18 advantage at the main break.

The Silver Ferns turned the screws during an increasingly dominant third stanza, producing a free-flowing spectacle on attack while restricting the Proteas on defence.

After making her debut against England, up-and-coming goalkeeper Kelly Jury got another taste of Test Match Netball when introduced late in the third quarter.

Impressive South Africa goal defence Karla Mostert provided a sprinkling of turnover ball for the Proteas but with Mes in fine form under the hoop, it was the Silver Ferns who took a decisive 51-30 lead into the last break.

Earlier, Australia retained the Quad Series title after sneaking to a 47-46 win over England.


Photo: PHOTOSPORT (Silver Fern goal attack Maria Tutaia)