19 January 2020

England Roses wilt in opening match defeat to New Zealand in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup

England's Roses suffered a 64-48 defeat against world champions New Zealand in the opening match of the Vitality Netball Nations Cup in Nottingham. 

The Silver Ferns mixed up their centre-court combinations throughout which made it difficult for the Roses to set some structure. 

England went into the second half only 28-25 down but there was no let-up as the Silver Ferns picked up the pace in all areas of the court. 

George Fisher managed to take control of the Roses attacking end but it was not enough to overtake New Zealand. 

Head coach Jess Thirlby said: "I think we gave a good account of ourselves in the first half. But ultimately we made a few too many errors.

"A disappointing second half but really pleased how we held ourselves in that first quarter."

It was England's first match on home soil since last summer's World Cup in Liverpool and it marked the first time the two sides had met since the semi-final. 

Jamaica are back competing after a rocky few months (Twitter: England Netball)

Elsewhere, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls saw off South Africa in a 59-54 victory. 

Defender Shamera Sterling was doing what she does best by using her strength to intercept any ball which came her way and after a disappointing World Cup, Jamaica remained composed in all quarters of the court. 

The competition now moves to Birmingham where England face South Africa and Jamaica will play New Zealand. 

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