Sun. Oct 17th, 2021


Paul Prenderville

Comment & Analysis @paulprenders

England Roses rally from 10-goal half-time deficit to produce superb second-half display to clinch the Taini Jamison Trophy and first ever series victory on New Zealand soil

Last Updated: 24/09/21 10:49am

England's Vitality Roses celebrate their series victory in Christchurch (Getty)

England’s Vitality Roses celebrate their series victory in Christchurch (Getty)

England have won a series in New Zealand for the first time following a 49-45 victory over the world champions in the third Test in Christchurch on Friday.

The Roses landed in New Zealand to face the team that had ended their World Cup dream in Liverpool two years ago and after one win apiece in two thrilling contests, Jess Thirlby’s squad took to the court with hopes high of a landmark moment.

Having lost the first Test on Monday, England levelled the series on Wednesday, recovering from a three-goal half-time deficit to end up 55-45 winners and they needed a repeat showing in the decider.

The Roses delivered that and more in a third thrilling encounter.

A stunning second half – inspired by a faultless shooting display from Eleanor Cardwell and a sensational performance from captain Serena Guthrie – saw England outscore the Silver Ferns 33-21 and overturn a 10-goal half-time deficit on the way to their spectacular moment.

Having reduced the deficit to four with an impressive third quarter, Thirlby had called for no regrets from her squad during and she got everything she wanted as the Roses won the final quarter 17-11 to seal a stunning success and the Taini Jamison Trophy.

Vitality Roses’ New Zealand and Australia Series – Live on Sky Sports

September 20 New Zealand Silver Ferns 48-42 England Vitality Roses
September 22 New Zealand Silver Ferns 45-55 England Vitality Roses
September 24 New Zealand Silver Ferns 45-49 England Vitality Roses
October (Date TBC) Australian Diamonds vs England Vitality Roses
October (Date TBC) Australian Diamonds vs England Vitality Roses
October (Date TBC) Australian Diamonds vs England Vitality Roses

With the series on the line, as well as preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next July, all eyes were on the teams and the early news from the Silver Ferns looked ominous.

The absence of captain Gina Crampton, and vice captain Sulu Fitzpatrick limited their options but underlined their strength in depth as Karin Burger and Maia Wilson were among the names to come into the starting line-up.

England again made two changes, coming in the same wing defence and goal attack positions that they have experimented with throughout the series. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis started in place of Eleanor Cardwell after her impressive introduction from the bench and Beth Cobden replaced Imogen Allison at wing defence.

It was the more settled England who started fast, opening up a three-goal advantage thanks to the early turnover. However, Burger showed her class for New Zealand, turning over in her own circle to set the tone for the first half with Wilson capitalising.

England produced another stirring comeback to win a series in New Zealand for the first time with victory in the deciding third Test against the Silver Ferns (Getty)

England produced another stirring comeback to win a series in New Zealand for the first time with victory in the deciding third Test against the Silver Ferns (Getty)

Starting Sevens – New Zealand and England

New Zealand England
GK Kelly Jury Geva Mentor
GD Karin Burger Layla Guscoth
WD Sam Winders Beth Cobden
C Claire Kersten Serena Guthrie
WA Shannon Saunders Laura Malcolm
GA Te Paea Selby-Rickit Sophie Drakeford-Lewis
GS Maia Wilson George Fisher

From an 8-5 England advantage, a 4-1 run from the Silver Ferns was a sign of things to come as the first half closed out with the teams trading goals for a level contest.

With the wind in their sails New Zealand seized the initiative and turnover ball was proving crucial – England were winning plenty but failing to capitalise. In contrast, the Silver Ferns were ruthless as Wilson and Selby-Ricket took every chance that came their way.

From 15-14 in front the hosts played with a freedom befitting the world champions, a six goal run broke the Roses’ resistance and Noeline Taurua’s team had pulled into a remarkable 10-goal half-time lead.

Just as she has done throughout the series Thirlby turned to her bench, this time Cardwell and Fran Williams were introduced and the results were instantaneous.

The Roses had battled their way back into the second Test but the task at hand was even more demanding as they faced a double-digit deficit.

With Cardwell moving into the shooters bib after Kelly Jury had limited Fisher’s impact, England started with a run of four unanswered goals to move within touching distance and teaming up with the re-introduced Drakeford-Lewis the Roses were near unstoppable.

With Geva Mentor shutting down the New Zealand attacking options, England continued to chip away at the Silver Ferns advantage and by the end of the third quarter they were within four to set up a monumental final quarter.

TV cameras picked up Thirby asking for her team to give her everything they had with the series on the line and they responded, winning the ball from New Zealand’s opening centre pass and converting before remaining rock solid on their own ball.

England outscored the world champions by 12 goals in a superb second-half display (Getty)

England outscored the world champions by 12 goals in a superb second-half display (Getty)

Within a couple of minutes England had halved the deficit again to trail by two and Cardwell was proving unstoppable, maintaining her 100 per cent record to take every opportunity the Roses created – notably from the brilliance of Guthrie and Jade Clarke.

As the game headed into the final 10 minutes, the Thunder shooter took England into a two-goal lead after a searching through-court pass from Laura Malcom.

Fittingly, a Guthrie turnover paved the way for England to move three goals clear and there were no more mistakes, as England stayed calm throughout the final two minutes to close out their landmark and statement victory.

The Roses are scheduled to move on to Australia for a three-game series, and they will head there in high spirits as the run-up to the defence of their gold medal got off of the perfect start.





Source link

By admin