Returning to the Silver Ferns from bereavement leave, Vice-Captain Maria Tutaia helped drive her side home in a tough 60-minute contest against the visiting Roses in Game 1 played at Porirua. With just two goals separating the two sides at three quarter time, the Silver Ferns stormed home in the final term to finish seven-goal victors.
However it was a different story in Sunday’s second test, in which England had the upper hand for much of the match. Leading at half-time, the Roses were well led by GIANTS duo Jo Harten and Serena Guthrie – the latter named MVP after finishing with three deflections, an intercept, and seven goal assists.
Which means the series goes to the wire, with Game 3 in Hamilton to decide who will take home the Taini Jamison Trophy.
Whatever happens on Wednesday night, this series has been positive from a GIANTS perspective with Harten and Guthrie putting out some show-stopping performances so far.
Having only played one half during the Netball Quad Series last month, Harten hasn’t missed a minute of the series against NZ…and rarely has she missed a shot on goal either! In fact Harten has been England’s top scorer so far with 56 goals to her name at 81 percent accuracy; pretty tidy work if you ask us.
And continuing her career-best season in the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball, Guthrie has been a lynchpin for the Roses midcourt which culminated in being named MVP on the weekend. Having played most of her career at Wing Defence, Guthrie has blossomed on both the national and international stage since moving out to Centre.
Since the Quad Series opener against the Australian Diamonds in late August, Guthrie has shown her versatility by taking six intercepts, 15 deflections and contributing to 37 goal assists. Again, pretty tidy work from Bob!
Both athletes will need to be firing, along with their Roses teammates, if they’re to clinch the series from the hosts. Special shout-out to NZ Captain Katrina Grant who will make her 100th test appearance on Wednesday night, becoming just the sixth Kiwi* to achieve this – congratulations!
GIANTS Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald will be in the crowd to see her athletes in action, and we’re pretty jealous we can’t be there as well – should be a cracking decider.
Good luck to Jo, Bob and Assistant Coach Tania Obst – we’ll be cheering for you!
*Silver Ferns Centurions Club
Irene van Dyk (145)
Laura Langman (141)
Lesley Rumball (110)
Maria Tutaia (110)
Leana de Bruin (104)
Casey Kopua (101)