'A lot of us play instinctively' - England playing natural game against Silver Ferns




England midcourter Chelsea Pitman plays the way she's feeling - and at the moment she's playing very, very well.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit of New Zealand defends against Beth Cobden of England. 2017 Netball Quad Series match, New Zealand Silver Ferns v England Roses at The Trusts Arena, Auckland, New Zealand. 30 August 2017 © Copyright Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz

Te Paea Selby-Rickit of New Zealand defends against Beth Cobden of England.

Source: Photosport

An incisive, instinctive wing attack, Pitman has featured for the Roses over the last 10 days as they've beaten the Silver Ferns in two of their last three clashes.

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England's most recent win, a 49-46 victory in the second match of the Taini Jamison Trophy in Napier three days ago, has levelled the three-Test series going into tonight's decider in Hamilton.

The 29-year-old Australian has played just eight Tests for England, qualifying through her Yorkshire-born father, making her debut in January this year and adding to the 15 caps she previously earned for the Diamonds.

Pitman has always been something of a netball nomad, playing trans-Tasman league for the Tactix, the Firebirds, the Fever and the Pulse; Super League in England with Manchester Thunder; and Super Netball for the Adelaide Thunderbirds last year.

So it's not surprising she's slotted in seamlessly with the Roses, and is enjoying the style of game coach Tracey Neville is masterminding.

"A lot of us like to play instinctively - just play what's in front of us," Pitman told NZ Newswire.

"Yes, it's good to have the structure and the set plays but it's also leaning on what comes naturally to you.

"I play with how I'm feeling out there, and what I read and see.

"I'm really enjoying playing and getting a thrill out of that, and a lot of that is I'm happy away from the court - that plays a big part."

Historically, England have had limited success over the Silver Ferns, having won just six times in 90 Tests, but they have a real shot at their first series win in Hamilton.

Pitman knows it won't be easy, and is expecting an improved defensive effort from the New Zealanders, particularly given how England bossed them in the midcourt in Napier.

"I think they'll tighten up on us down the attack end, and not give us the space we like to play and the angles we like to run," she said.

"But we haven't put together a solid 60 minutes yet so it'll be interesting to see if we can do that."

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