It's fair to say the netball battle between New Zealand and England resembled the electoral mood of the country in some respects and that modicum of unpredictability in winning and losing came to pass in Napier today.

The Roses beat the Silver Ferns 49-46 in the second test of the Taini Jamison Trophy Series at a capacity Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale.

That means the teams head off to Hamilton for a mouth-watering decider on Wednesday now as the series stands tied at 1-1.

The Janine Southby-coached hosts played catch-up netball, raising the hopes of the PG Arena faithful time and again before bowing out.

The Katrina Grant-captained Silver Ferns started slowly today but, as they have a tendency to do, ground their way back into the first spell just when the tourists looked like they were building a decent gulf in the score.

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Both sides were guilty of committing unforced errors with England just keeping their edge, 13-12, in the first quarter.

The Roses had opened up a 19-13 margin early in the second spell.

Kiwi wing defence Kayla Cullen had an "ouch" moment as she rolled her ankle but ran through the pain barrier to continue.

With five to go, an out-of-sorts Maria Tutaia swapped her goal-shoot bib with Bailey Mes' goal attack one while Kelly Jury came off the bench to replace Temalisi Fakahokotau in the defensive circle as goal keep.

Tutaia was surprisingly in low gear, shooting at 50 per cent at halftime, while Mes matched England goal shoot Jo Harten's 89 per cent and Helen Housby kept the backburner simmering at 69 per cent.

The second spell closed at 27-24 (14-12), again on the right side of the ledger for England.

Two minutes into the third spell, Tutaia made way for Te Paea Selby-Rickit to justify her injection with a 71 per cent returns.

With 1m 20s left on the clock, New Zealand levelled the scores at 36-36 as England kept making mistakes and their lethargic shooters went off the boil in a seven-minute stanza.

The third quarter ended with England again just ahead 38-37 (13-11), the first spell New Zealand won.

The final spell was no different in some ways to the rest of the game as both parties gave up possession at crucial times.

The tourists signed off with a signature Geva Mentor goal keep intercept and a Harten goal to finish the spell 11-9.

Mes finished a game-high 87 per cent, Selby-Rickit backed up with 80 per cent while Harten spearheaded with 78 per cent for England with Housby not far behind on 75 per cent, suggesting Tutaia brought the Kiwi average down.

Both sides were guilty of coughing up turnovers (32-30 to the Ferns) but it was the contact penalty count, 55-37, that England tripped on, not that it mattered if the players' smiles were anything to go by.