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FAST5 Ferns eye up big day at FAST5 World Series

The FAST5 Ferns still have an eye on the FAST5 Netball World Series final despite falling to Australia in the last match of the day in Christchurch.

A late flourish from the Ferns was not enough to topple the well-drilled Australians, going down 29-38.

Vice-captain Whitney Souness said they would need to “tidy and sharpen” a few areas of their game leading into day two where they would meet South Africa and Jamaica ahead of the play-offs.

“I think you do learn lots from your losses,” she said. 

“It starts lots of conversations.  South Africa and Jamaica are good sides, so we’ve just got to go back, start again, and stick to our game plan.”

With two wins and a loss, Souness said they still had an eye on the final and would focus on recovery ahead of another big day.

“It’s a quick game but you’re working really hard so there’s a few tired bodies,” she said.

Dressed all in black, the FAST5 Ferns meant business and found their rhythm early with a pre-match dance and their ability to find Grace Nweke under the post.

But it was Australia who edged ahead first with Tippah Dwan landing the first two-pointer of the game.

Kate Burley and Amorangi Malesala’s injection into the game lifted the Ferns again and a late goal from Nweke, under the power play, saw the hosts trail 9-11 at the first break.

The shooter-to-shooter play from the Australians impressed early in the second quarter while the Ferns struggled to shut down Lucy Austin, as they threatened to take control of the match.

A late six-point play from Tiana Metuarau saw momentum swing again and the Ferns trailed by just one goal heading into halftime.

It was much of the same in the second half, the arm wrestle continuing before Australia got the edge in the power play – Dwan and Austin both netting four points each, to turn into the final spell with a 31-25 lead.