Ferns through to World Cup semis

With no drama and no surprises, New Zealand have thumped Uganda 76-33 to wrap up the third semi-final spot at the netball World Cup in Sydney.


The Kiwis were unpressured in racking up their sixth win in eight days and will meet England on Saturday after they accounted for South Africa 62-46.

Jamaica earlier on Friday edged Malawi 63-62 in a bruising encounter to earn a semi-final clash against defending champions Australia.

Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu rested three key players in Bailey Mes, skipper Casey Kopua and wing defence Kayla Cullen but rotated the rest of her squad across the four quarters.

“In preparation for the weekend, I was really keen, over the last two games, to get everybody on the court for some time, just to handle the ball and get back in the groove,” Taumaunu said.

“It was important to get a good score at the start and then to try and spread the load through the remaining quarters and that’s what we did.”

Taumaunu made sure her rookies at both ends of the court had plenty of experience in support.

Shooter Malia Paseka earned her fifth cap in tandem with 56-cap veteran goal attack Jodi Brown and looked composed throughout, shooting 49 from 55 for 89 per cent.

At the other end, keeper Phoenix Karaka received her seventh cap under the watchful guidance of 72-cap goal defence Katrina Grant.

The two combinations were linked by a dynamic midcourt, Shannon Francois at centre driving the attack while Laura Langman opened at wing defence and Grace Rasmussen ran at wing attack.

The New Zealanders piled on the goals, forcing an endless stream of turnovers and whipping the ball downcourt at pace for Paseka and Brown to convert.

Uganda trailed 20-3 after 15 minutes, although the introduction of Racheal Nanyonga and 1.93m Proscovia Peace in the shooting circle lifted them in the second spell.

The Silver Ferns won the quarter by just six at 19-13 for a 39-16 lead at halftime, extending the margin steadily to 56-24 at the three-quarter mark.

The Kiwis piled on 20 more goals in the final 15 minutes, Brown making way for Maria Tutaia in her 100th game.