The Silver Ferns celebrate their victory over the Sunshine Girls (PA Images)
27 January 2020

World Champions Silver Ferns take Vitality Nations Cup title beating Jamaica in the final while England edge out South Africa in thrilling bronze medal match

World champions New Zealand Silver Ferns continued their phenomenal form on the Netball court with victory over Jamaica's Sunshine Girls in the Nations Cup final at the Copper Box Arena in London.

Dame Noeline Taurua's team completed an unbeaten run of games in the four-nation tournament beating the Sunshine Girls 67-56.

The Silver Ferns arrived in England with a relatively inexperienced team but Taurua's risks have paid off across the tournament trying various combinations to ensure she had her best team ready for the final.

Dominant from the start, the Silver Ferns converted their first centre-pass into a goal and backed this up with an immediate turn-over on the Jamaican centre pass to keep the momentum in their favour.

The game swung back and forth throughout and Jamaica looked like completing an upset when they went 25-23 up but the Ferns clawed it back to go into half- time 30-30.

They came out fighting in the second half and in true Ferns style, dominated the third quarter to head into the final 15 minutes 49-41 up.

The last 15 minutes were a demonstration of their superior fitness as they stormed through to the close of play.

Earlier in the day, a young England side fought through a tense bronze medal match to defeat South Africa 65-63.

In a repeat of last July's World cup bronze medal game, South Africa were looking for revenge but Jess Thirlby's team came out fighting in the first half to storm to a seven goal lead (36-29) at half time.

Not to be left out, South Africa roared into the second half matching the home team goal-for-goal before turning over the deficit as errors crept into the England team's game.

With just minutes remaining the two teams could not be separated but an unusual error in the South African shooting circle gave England the chance to take a one goal advantage followed by a centre pass in their favour.

England's goal defence Stacey Francis put in a phenomenal performance for the Roses and it was fitting that her turnover was the defining moment for the English side. With just a minute to go she won the ball back and England capitalised and crept to a three goal victory.

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