England – again.

So soon after the horrific cricket tie breaker will New Zealand and England face off in another World Cup knockout contest.

This time it's the netballers' turn.

The Silver Ferns are set to challenge the hosts in their Netball World Cup semifinal in Liverpool on Sunday morning (NZT), six days after the Black Caps 'lost' to England at Lord's in their heartbreaking World Cup final that finished with the tied Super Over.


Much to the delight of fanatical locals who produced deafening screams at the M&S Arena, England's netball team secured top seeding in their pool and advanced unbeaten to the semifinals after a dominant and sometimes ill-tempered 58-47 victory over South Africa this morning (NZT).

England lost their previous meeting with South Africa but there were no signs of a repeat as they powered to an eight-goal lead by the end of the first quarter, and steadily built their advantage.

South Africa were committed but made too many unforced errors and weren't helped by losing influential centre and captain Bongiwe Msomi to injury early in the first quarter.

The Proteas had England rattled at times in the third quarter but never recovered from the opening onslaught.

In New Zealand's final group match, a spirited second half fightback wasn't enough to overturn an eight-goal deficit as the Silver Ferns fell 50-49 earlier in the day to Australia – Maria Folau missing a last-play shot to tie the contest.

Few tears will be shed in New Zealand if the Ferns manage to dump England out of their home World Cup.

Those still reeling from the cricket may, in fact, view such an upset as some form of sporting justice.

England will be confident, however.


After stunning Australia to steal the gold medal at last year's Commonwealth Games, Tracey Neville's side are intent on riding the ever-increasing wave of support and prove that achievement was no one-off feat.

Six months ago in their last match at the northern Quad Series, England stormed to a record 13-goal win over the Ferns.

But with Noeline Taurua at the helm of the Ferns, star England defender Geva Mentor was taking nothing for granted.

"I highly rate her," Mentor, who has been coached by Taurua previously, said. "I know she won't leave any stone unturned. She'll look at all of us individually and how her players can combat us so I'm expecting everything to come out there – some things we've probably never seen before. I just hope we're able to turn it on and adapt quickly.

"Confidence is an important thing and we'll definitely take that through but we won't be complacent. We know Noels is a very smart coach and she's got a very strong, fit team. They'll definitely do their homework on us so we'll have to counteract that."

New Zealand start underdogs to upstage England on home court but there is a quiet confidence brewing within Taurua's squad.

The character displayed in their one-goal defeat to Australia also offers hope.

"This is what it's all about I love games like that,"Taurua said after her side's first loss of the tournament. "It's good to get a taste for that sort of pressure and those challenges.

"We've still got a bit to go to keep up and put in a dominant performance but it's a great start. We did need it, we've learned a lot before the semifinal.

"It's do or die now whether you get through to gold medal contention. It's great for us to have that under our belt."

Defending champions Australia seem set for a much easier draw when they meet Norma Plummer's South Africa, who stunned world No 2 Jamaica during pool play, in the other semifinal.