Lights out: Silver Ferns shooters serve Jamaica second big loss

Ameliaranne Ekenasio takes a shot from deep against Jamaica.

A superb all-round shooting performance for New Zealand and the tough task of playing back-to-back 60-minute games for Jamaica has seen the Silver Ferns wrap up the Taini Jamison Trophy series comfortably in Auckland tonight.

The Silver Ferns blew out the Sunshine Girls 75-35 at the Pulman Arena - largely due to the 39-13 scoring advantage New Zealand generated in the second half against a fatigued Jamaican outfit.

Coach Dame Noeline Taurua put out a near-identical starting seven from the side that conjured a 70-45 win last night with the only change being Mila Reuelu-Buchanan at WA for Maddy Gordon.

Reuelu-Buchanan made the most of her opportunity, notching up eight assists in the first quarter alone as the Kiwi combo of Nweke and Ekenasio opened the night 20 from 21.

Ekenasio contributed a flawless five goals to that tally in the opening quarter as she sought more opportunities to shoot in comparison to her efforts last night where she only shot - and made - seven shots in the entire match.

New Zealand's attack was still lightning quick and giving Jamaica trouble to shut down Nweke; Mischa Creary handed the GK bib tonight to try and mark her to no avail.

At the other end though, New Zealand's defence was smothering from the first pass.

Kayla Johnson controls the ball against Jamaica.

Jamaica struggled to find easy paths to the shooting circle as Elle Temu, still buzzing from her debut the night before, again made her presence known early with an intercept.

Jamaica coughed up five turnovers in the first quarter alone as a result although New Zealand were letting some of their superb work go to waste with a high penalty count.

With the Kiwis up 20-11 after the first quarter, Jamaica coach Connie Francis challenged her side to "find some energy" for the match.

They responded in kind.

READ MORE: Silver Ferns coach 'disappointed' at Jamaica series shambles

Jamaica went toe-to-toe with the Kiwis throughout the second quarter, largely led by captain Shimona Nelson's shooting performance.

That led to Taurua making her first changes of the night, bringing in Kayla Johnson for Temu. The substitution saw Johnson enter at wing defence while Phoenix Karaka shifted to GD.

The switch appeared to work with the Silver Ferns going on a five-goal run late in the second quarter off two Jamaican errors to head to halftime up 36-22.

Taurua made another adjustment to start the second half with the introduction of Maia Wilson for Nweke and the new goal shooter immediately got into her work with Ekenasio, racking up 15 goals from 16 attempts in the third quarter.

The tough ask of playing back-to-back evenings started to show for Jamaica's seven players as the Silver Ferns ruthlessly put together multiple runs throughout the third quarter.

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan lunges after accepting a pass against Jamaica.

The Sunshine Girls simply looked out of steam but with former internationals Carla Borrego and Romelda Aiken George and coach Francis the only reserves due to Netball Jamaica's logistical week from hell, the starting seven had no choice but to soldier on.

The Silver Ferns didn't relent though, forcing 11 turnovers in the third quarter and with it a whopping 20-6 goal advantage; 56-28 the overwhelming heading into the final 15 minutes.

That was enough for Taurua to make another three changes to close out the match; Te Paea Selby-Rickit coming in for Ekenasio, Maddy Gordon on at centre and Sulu Fitzpatrick taking the GK bib from Kelly Jury.

The changes did little to slow the scoring blitz from the Silver Ferns though as they opened with another five-goal run and in the end, another dominant quarter of scoring from the Kiwis - 19 goals to 7.

With the series over, World Netball will now investigate what went wrong for Jamaica that they were able to fall so far from their stunning campaign in Birmingham to barely fielding a Test side in little more than a month.

For New Zealand though, the Taini Jamison Trophy was locked away for another year - the Constellation Cup against Australia in three weeks will be much harder to get their hands on.

Silver Ferns 75 [Wilson 30/31, Nweke 25/26, Ekenasio 16/17, Selby-Rickit 4/4]

Jamaica 35 [Nelson 26/27, Allison 7/12, Creary 2/5]

HT: 36-22


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