The Silver Ferns fired off comfortably in Stage 1.
Their defense is exceptional, where they managed to link up their attackers.
And the Silver Ferns attackers able to communicate quickly to convert in the net.
England also made some shots along the way.
But they have to look after the defense as well.
It is the only weakness England could not prevent the Kiwi’s red hot start.
They have to match their communication skill set in Stage 2.
It is an essential way for England to try and not fall behind on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, They are unable to find a way to stop the unbeatable Maia Wilson.
Their attacking skill set is there at least to score goals.
But they need to work on the other weakness if England was to win tonight.
Half-Time: Silver Ferns 32-24 England
England began to improve their defense thanks to a straightforward tweak.
They moved Serena Guthrie to wing defense.
And Gabriella Marshall occupied her spot in the center.
But England has experienced some missed conversions upfront.
The work from Sulu Fitzpatrick and Jane Watson prevented them from catching up.
It allowed the Silver Ferns defenders to keep linking the ball to come to Maia Wilson.
Maia is still dangerous in front of the net with her height, reach & physicality.
After Stage 3, England will need miracles if they were to upset the Silver Ferns.
They will need to overcome the defensive pair of Jane Watson & Sulu Fitzpatrick.
Plus, the goal shooting machine of Maia Wilson is going into the final quarter.
England hesitated in the end with the low conversions.
The improved defense may have upped the Silver Ferns difficulty a bit higher.
So credit to Fran Williams for putting her body on the line at the goal defense role.
But it is not enough to compensate for the loss by 13 points.
FULL-TIME: Silver Ferns 58-45 England
The Silver Ferns lead the three-match series, 1-0, going into Game 2 on Friday.
It will be the same venue as last night at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton, New Zealand.
And both teams will also return in the same arena for the third and final matchup on Sunday night.
For now, come back here on Sports Benches a bit later for your NASCAR Cup fix.
We hope green flag racing at Texas Motor Speedway for the Autotrader 500 will finally resume at 8 AM AEDT my time.
I hope to bring you part 2 of the Top 3 low budget and midfield to top tier report cards after the checkered flag.