The Silver Ferns had won all seven of the previous World Cup contests between the sides and after a competitive first quarter, New Zealand began to show their quality and ultimately ran out easy 78-25 winners.
After a superb win against Singapore yesterday, Barbados entered the game with confidence but as the tie wore on, they were outclassed by Noeline Taurua’s ruthless side.
It was a commanding start from New Zealand as they scored the opening four points of the game, but Barbados responded and closed the deficit to 5-3.
Barbados found it tough to deal with the quick passing and movement of New Zealand during the opening exchanges, but they settled and managed to remain in touching distance due to the excellent shooting of Shonica Wharton and Sheniqua Thomas who scored nine of their ten goal attempts.
New Zealand took a 16-9 advantage into the second quarter and they immediately began to build on their lead, extending it to 21 goals by the middle of the quarter.
The Gems struggled to put together any effective offensive play as they were limited to just one goal attempt in the first ten minutes of the quarter and despite a late flurry of goals, they were outscored by 26-5.
Led by some flawless shooting from Bailey Mes, who scored all 14 of her goal attempts in the quarter, and backed up by substitute Maria Folau’s 92 per cent shooting, New Zealand took a 42-14 lead into half time.
The Silver Ferns kept their foot firmly on the pedal after the interval and continued to build their advantage as Te Paea Selby-Rickit replaced Folau and impressed, converting all 12 of her goal attempts.
Wharton continued to impress for Barbados with her shooting range and touch, but the Gems again found it tough to create scoring opportunities consistently, scoring six goals in the quarter as New Zealand increased their lead to 61-20.
The opening stages of the fourth quarter were much more even, as both sides traded scores before the Silver Ferns regained control of the contest.
The last time the two sides met in the Netball World Cup – in 2015 – New Zealand were 73-28 winners, and the scoreline began to head in a similar direction as the Silver Ferns confidently played out the remaining minutes to outscore Barbados 17-5 in the final quarter and take the victory.
Ultimately New Zealand proved to be too strong for Barbados and they will look to cement their place at the top of Group B when they face Singapore tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Gems will hope to return to winning ways when they take on Malawi in their final group game.
After the game New Zealand’s Mes said: “We’re just trying to be a little bit better every day and take whatever we can from one day to the next. Personally, I didn’t get on court yesterday so it was really good to get out there.”
Wharton said despite the score Barbados never stopped fighting.
“I think we performed well. We continued fighting even though we didn’t win, and I thought that we had a good team spirit and we performed all the way until the end. They were good at basically everything, but we can learn to be more confident and continue to keep pushing for more.” (NWC)