Reigning champions New Zealand fall in opening game against England

Perennial Fast5 champions New Zealand have fallen to a well organised England team in both teams’ opening game of the Fast5 series. With both teams shooting incredibly well, it all came down to a stout English defence to make the difference.   

Despite not taking full advantage of their powerplay, England’s passing efficiency and strong defense allowed them to kick start their series with a 37-30 victory.  

Both teams made full use of the fast 5 scoring system, with plenty of two-point attempts and a supershot from New Zealander Ameliaranne Ekenasio, but the sharp shooting of Helen Housby gave the English side a 9-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter.  

New Zealand took their power play in the second quarter and Ekenasio took full advantage, making 4/5 shots including two 2 points shots and a supershot leading her side to an impressive 20-point quarter, to go into the main break with a ten-point advantage, 26-16 to New Zealand.  

A strong defensive effort from New Zealand limited the influence of England’s powerplay, holding them to 14 points for the quarter. Helen Housby led the English attack for the quarter scoring 3/5 from two-point range, giving England, a one-point advantage heading into the final quarter. 

A stout defensive effort from England, saw them hold New Zealand to a single point in the final quarter, which saw them come away with a seven-point victory in their side’s opening game.

‘I think smart play and working the ball around, and then when we’re comfortable, only shooting when the option was open,” Ama Agbeze  said of her side’s second half performance.

Both teams started strongly in terms of shooting, but in the end the defensive prowess of Geva Mentor, locking down New Zealand star debutant Ameliaranne Ekenasio, means England are off to a dream start. 

“I would say Jo [Harten]. Definitely I think she’s the experienced one there and yeah she’s the one who turns and shoots the ball through that hoop. So without her, they wouldn’t be able to score. I definitely think she’s a key person out there,” Kiwi goalkeeper Temalisi Fakahokotau said of Jo Harten’s performance.

England 37 defeated New Zealand 30 


New Zealand shooting statistics

Shooter 1 point goal 2 point goal 3 point supershot
Maia Wilson 1/1 0/1 0/0
Jamie Hume 1/2 1/3 0/2
Ameliaranne Ekenasio 4/4 3/7 2/5


England shooting statistics

Shooter 1 point goal 2 point goal 3 point supershot
Jo Harten 2/2 3/11 1/3
Helen Housby 0/0 6/11 0/0
Natalie Haythornthwaite 1/1 2/2 0/1


New Zealand starting five – GS: Ameliaranne Ekenasio GA: Monica Falkner C: Kayla Cullen GD: Storm Purvis   GK: Temalisi Fakahokotau

England starting five – GS: Jo Harten GA: Helen Housby  C: Serena Guthrie  GD: Ama Agbeze GK: Geva Mentor

New Zealand power play: quarter two
England power play: quarter three

#Fast5WorldSeries #NZLvENG