Laura Langman in action for the Silver Ferns at Auckland's Pulman Arena on Saturday. Picture: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Laura Langman in action for the Silver Ferns at Auckland's Pulman Arena on Saturday. Picture: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Silver Ferns beaten in netball's battle of the sexes

THE Silver Ferns have wound up their preparations for the World Cup with a loss to the New Zealand men's team in the final of a four-team tournament in Auckland.

In netball's version of the battle of the sexes, the men pulled clear in the second half on Saturday to prevail 66-54, two days after they'd won their first meeting 54-50.

The tournament gave coach Noeline Taurua's team the tough workout she was after, with the Silver Ferns having success in games against Fiji and a Kiwi All Stars side.

The two men's matches were challenging, against opponents who were bigger and more athletic than the leading women.

A prime example was 2.14m-tall Junior Levi, the Melbourne-based shooter who once captained the Australian men's team. Levi was a nightmare to shut down, sinking 56 goals.

At the other end, Maria Folau landed 40 from 43 shots in what was potentially her last big game on New Zealand soil.

Veteran shooter Folau, captain Laura Langman and former skipper Casey Kopua are all likely to retire following next month's World Cup in Liverpool.

New Zealand and Australia have contested the last five World Cup finals, with the Diamonds winning four of them.

However, the Silver Ferns' recent struggles have dropped them to fourth in the world rankings, behind Australia, Commonwealth Games champions England and Jamaica.

- AAP

News Corp Australia


DEATH-ROW UPDATE: ‘Much loved’ animals taken from sanctuary

premium_icon DEATH-ROW UPDATE: ‘Much loved’ animals taken from sanctuary

‘We fear today is the last time we will ever see them’

Don't miss out on local news: $1 a week for first 12 weeks

Don't miss out on local news: $1 a week for first 12 weeks

Deal gives you access to local, regional and metro News sites

Doggone good result from pet registration blitz

premium_icon Doggone good result from pet registration blitz

Pet owners thanked for pawfectly positive rise in registrations.