England defeated world champion New Zealand to reach the semi-finals of Australia. Commonwealth Games 2022

England took a crucial step in their Commonwealth Games title defense by defeating world champions New Zealand 54-44 on Thursday night.

In front of a raucous crowd, Roses survived a second quarter scare to finish at the top of his pool, going undefeated in Saturday’s semi-final.

Jamaica made a surprise upset over favorites Australia ahead of the tournament earlier in the day to set the top seed in the semi-finals to question whether England should throw the game like a cloud over the game to avoid an injured diamond.

But from the first center pass it was clear that Roses was out for the win. Growing the ferns higher and wider, England turned to hunting scavengers to break the rhythm that typified the early stages.

In her sixth games, the contest between veteran England goalkeeper Geva Mentor and New Zealand’s rising talent, 20-year-old Grace Nwecke, proved to be the difference, as the England star outperformed Green Fern. With only 63 percent shooting, and significant whistle blowing, Roses made it to New Zealand in the first round: 8–15.

The second quarter will be something that England will quickly forget. Te-Pay Selby-Rickitt’s injection into the attack proved to be a masterstroke by Dame Noelin Taurua, head coach of the Silver Ferns and renowned strategist. With a new outlet in the attack, the Ferns made a comeback, going into deficit to play England’s estimate and leaving things completely ready at 24-25 at the break.

For those looking for a hint the rose has the ability to defend its crown, the second half showed exactly that. England returned inspired from the locker room, with Joe Harton at the top of the goal shooter at the start of the third quarter. Regaining the initiative, he retrieved a five-round cushion to stem the rising silver fern tide.

The last 15 minutes were a battle of wills. New Zealand made several changes, looking to change their course, but a resolute England remained steadfast. A screaming interception by 24-year-old Imogen Allison that saw her fall off the court to keep the ball alive captured Ross’ spirit as he turned the knife into world champion.

“We’ll take it,” said England head coach Jess Thirlby. “At the end of the day it hasn’t changed our course as to where we were going. We had already made it to the semi-finals.

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“We all know the task is huge, but I think it’s a better place to be if you’re feeling confident to scalp the team above you in the world rankings.”

On Australian Diamonds, who now await England in the semi-finals that will determine who will go for the gold, Thirlby said: “I think Australia will do their homework. They’ll come back out and have some real weapons. We have a big job in our hands.”

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