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26 Feb 2018 6:34
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Netball

    England refuse to write off Silver Ferns

    England's Serena Guthrie remains wary of New Zealand despite some rating her side as Australia's biggest netball threat at the Commonwealth Games.

    England are threatening to overhaul New Zealand as Australia's biggest netball threat at the Commonwealth Games, but one of the Roses' biggest stars has warned against writing off the Silver Ferns.

    England achieved their best-ever Quad Series result when they finished second in the latest instalment of the four-nation tournament last month.

    They shaded New Zealand 64-57 in an extra-time thriller in London and lost 50-46 to Australia in the same city two days later.

    A five-point final-round win over South Africa in Johannesburg ensured England finished above New Zealand in the series won by Australia.

    New Zealand have traditionally been Australia's closet rival but the Diamonds have won their last three contests by decisive margins of 12,16 and 19 goals.

    Australia have won 68 of 73 Tests against the Roses but, in their last three meetings, the Diamonds have won two by four and the other by a single goal.

    Recent results have prompted suggestions that England may now be the biggest threat to Australia's prospects of winning gold at a home Commonwealth Games.

    "I guess it would be quite easy based on scorelines to suggest that,'' England midcourt star Serena Guthrie said.

    "But the thing about New Zealand is that they always manage to get to a world champs final, so you can't write them off."

    Asked how much confidence the Roses had got from consistently running Australia close, Guthrie said the boost had been "massive".

    "When we met the Aussies in the last 2017 Quad Series, we had enough ball to win the game, the same happened with us this time," Guthrie said.

    "The thing about the Australians is they always manage to find a way to win, whether they've got a strong squad or not so strong squad.

    "That's something we're still trying to do against that team but I think we''ve put enough in now to know that we can do it.

    "It's just bringing it on the day, so we'll see what happens.

    "It's going to be tough, it's their home Commonwealth Games and the crowd is going to be right behind them but we're up for the challenge."


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