TODAY |

Silver Ferns unable to spark comeback after Aussies level series with hiss and a roar

The Silver Ferns have been brought back down to earth following their win last night, with Australia responding in dominant fashion to level the Constellation Cup 45-36 in Christchurch.

The Silver Ferns were without captain Amerliaranne Ekenasio tonight after she was rested for a calf niggle sustained yesterday, allowing Bailey Mes to make her official return from a year's worth of injuries at goal attack.

It was rough welcome back, though.

The Diamonds made their intentions known early, jumping out to an 8-1 lead in the first quarter that the Silver Ferns simply couldn't claw back throughout the match.

In fact, the Australians outscored the Silver Ferns 15-6 in the first quarter and 15-10 in the second quarter, meaning they went into halftime with a resounding 30-16 lead.

The Silver Ferns made almost double the turnovers the Australians did in the first half, conceding 14 in comparison to the Diamonds' eight and also copped a 29 penalties.

At the final whistle, the Silver Ferns had made 10 more turnovers than Australia [29] which marred an impressive shooting performance from the Kiwi attack.

Maia Wilson shot 32-from-38 while Mes added three-from-five. The Silver Ferns finished with a shooting percentage of 80 per cent in contrast to the Australians' 70.3 per cent.

The second half was much more positive for the hosts as they managed to outscore the Australians in both quarters, but it wasn't enough to pull off a comeback.

One highlight for the team, though, was the debut of young midcourter Maddy Gordon, who took the court late in the first quarter at wing defence to become Silver Fern No. 177.

The four-match series is now tied 1-1, with the next Test not until Saturday.