Netball: Easy win keeps Ferns on track for semifinals

New Zealand 70
South Africa 29

Grace Rasmussen. Photo / Getty Images
Grace Rasmussen. Photo / Getty Images

A routine win with a makeshift lineup over South Africa has kept the Silver Ferns firmly on track for the Delhi Commonwealth Games netball semifinals.

After grinding out a tight 47-41 win over England on Thursday to go top of their pool, New Zealand tried to return to freeflow yesterday, but spluttered in winning by a 41-goal margin over a side who have notched just one win in Delhi, and that over hapless Papua New Guinea.

New Zealand started with one of the best test benches in the history of the game, with captain Casey Williams and star shooters Irene van Dyk and Maria Tutaia all given a rest.

Replacement shooters Danika Wipiiti and Grace Rasmussen failed to lodge a steely challenge for the top job, with their shooting statistics uninspiring, at 77 per cent.

South Africa were nearly as accurate in the circle, but outgunned elsewhere, lacking the pace of the New Zealand midcourt and the physical presence of the black-clad defence.

Coach Ruth Aitken played vice-captain Temepara George, who missed the first two games of the tournament with illness and was below her best against England, for the full 60 minutes at wing attack.

- NZPA

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