The Fast5 Ferns will have the chance to compete for their sixth World Series title after first-quarter scoring blitz led them to a 52-27 win over Malawi.
In their final match of round robin play at the Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne on Sunday, the New Zealand team wasted no time in getting points on the board.
In the opening quarter, shooters Maria Tutaia and Te Paea Selby-Rickit combining for 14 points, including four three-pointers.
Leading 14-6 after one period of play, the Ferns looked to lift the tempo and get the ball to their shooters quickly.
Locked in from deep, Tutaia continued to launch from the three-point zone and, with the help of some quality ball movement, guided the Ferns to a 25-12 lead at half time.
The Ferns’ half time score was just one point short of their final score against Jamaica earlier in the day, when they won 26-16.
The score at the break was an ominous one for Malawi, who had struggled to stay with the New Zealanders, as the Ferns had their double-points power play in the third quarter.
Tutaia made the gap even wider, opening the power play with a goal from the three-point zone, pushing the score to 31-12 in seconds.
With three minutes still to play in the quarter and the Ferns draining another two shots from the three-point zone, Malawi found themselves 28 points adrift and began to launch long shots themselves.
However, they were unable to have any success in the quarter and the Ferns took full advantage to go into the final period with an impressive 47-15 lead.
With all the work to do and the power play coming their way, Malawi needed a massive final quarter to claim their spot in the final.
However, they were unable to get close to the New Zealand side, who took out a 25-point win.
The Fast5 Ferns will go on to play Australia at 9:25pm (NZ time) this evening in the final.
- Maria Tutaia shot well against Jamaica on Sunday.