Silver Ferns thrash depleted Jamaica

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Silver Fern Maddy Gordon in the Silver Ferns v Jamaica, Taini Jamison Trophy netball series at Eventfinda Stadium, Auckland.
Photo: Photosport

The Silver Ferns have beaten a hobbled together Jamaican side 70-45 in the first of two tests in Auckland tonight.

The Sunshine Girls managed to scramble 10 players together so the game could be recognised as an official Test.

Two Australian based players Romelda Aiken-George and Carla Borrego answered the SOS call.

Aiken-George, who had her first child six weeks ago, travelled to the venue straight from the airport.

Thunderbirds' Carla Borrego looks on. ANZ Netball Championship, Northern Mystics v Adelaide Thunderbirds, Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Monday 24th March 2014. Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / photosport.co.nz

Carla Borrego was one of the two Australian-based Jamaican players to answer the SOS call.
Photo: Photosport / Anthony Au-Yeung

Coach Connie Francis was named as a player/coach but the ring-ins didn’t take the court, leaving the seven starters to run out a full game.

Only three players from the Jamaican side that thrashed the Silver Ferns at the recent Commonwealth Games, were available for the series, and it showed.

The Silver Ferns led 21-10 after the first quarter.

Debutant Elle Temu became Silver Fern number 183 and the game also marked the long anticipated return of Ameliaranne Ekenasio.

New Zealand led 36-20 at the main break by which stage shooter Grace Nweke had already scored a whooping 32 goals.

Coach Dame Noeline Taurua made three changes going into the final quarter.

Ekenasio, who provided great support to Nweke, was replaced by Te Paea Selby-Rickit.

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan came on for Gordon and Sulu Fitzpatrick took over from Kelly Jury.

The visitors kept fighting but ran out of steam at times with no substitutions made.

The Silver Ferns meet Jamaica at Pulman Arena tomorrow night for the final test of the Taini Jamison Trophy.

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