The Silver Ferns bounced back from last week's 20 goal loss to Australia by defeating the reigning world champions 48-43 in their final match of the Southern Hemisphere Quad Series, played in Hamilton this week. Despite trailing 13-9 after a scrappy first quarter, a superb circle defence, low error rate and impressive shooting when it counted gave the Kiwis a hard earned win. However, Australia's superior goal difference ensured that they ended the Series on top of the four team table.
After a crushing 63-24 loss to New Zealand earlier in the week, the South African team was looking to end the series with a morale boosting win over England in their final match of the competition. But with accurate shooting from Jo Harten, who ended the game with 36 goals from 41 attempts and a spirited defensive performance from Ama Agbeze, who was named player of the match, England were in no mood to be trifled with and ended the game 56-30 winners. The result served as some compensation after the side ranked number three in the world was outplayed by the world champions 57-35 earlier in the week.
Jamaica's Sunshine Girls have arrived in New Zealand ahead of the upcoming Fast5 Championships, and have unveiled two bold new playing uniforms for the competition. Queensland Firebirds shooter Romelda Aiken has not recovered from a hand injury in time to take part in the competition and has been replaced in the squad by Patricia McCalla.
In domestic competitions, the UK's Superleague will contain a new name this season, after it was announced that reigning champions Northern Thunder will now be known as Manchester Thunder. The side hopes that the change of name will help to strengthen links to the city's sporting heritage and provide additional marketing and commercial opportunities.
South African club side Spar-NMMU is celebrating this week, after sponsors Spar Eastern Cape extended its support of the club for a further three years. The extension closely follows the club's recognition as Sports Club of the Year at the recent Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Achiever Awards.
In Jamaica, former champions The Queen's School continued their unbeaten run in Zone D of the ISSA/Digicel Urban Area Junior and Senior netball competitions. The 2010 dual champions are unbeaten thus far, but will face 2011 champions St Andrew's High in the next round of junior matches, another undefeated side. The competition, which features junior and senior school teams from across the island, reaches the conclusion of its preliminary stages this week.
The completion of the Southern Hemisphere Quad Series has seen several New Zealand sides start to finalise their ANZ Championships line ups for 2013. England captain Jade Clarke has signed for the Canterbury Tactix, where she will line up with her international co-star Jo Harten and Silver Ferns squad member Juliana Naoupu, who joins the side from the championship winning Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic franchise where she was named the competition's best young player for the 2012 season.
Meanwhile, Silver Ferns defender Katrina Grant has extended her contract with the Central Pulse for another year, while across the Tasman, the Queensland Firebirds have announced the signing of 20 year old Laura Clemesha, a circle defender who has just completed a year at the Australian Institute of Sport.
photos Janos Schmidt