The Australian Fast5 Flyers have claimed the silver medal at the 2013 Fast5 Netball World Series after going down to the New Zealand Fast5 Ferns 56-27 at Vector Arena, Auckland, on Sunday.
New Zealand successfully defended its title courtesy of a 34-point power play in the third quarter while the result is Australia’s highest finish at the tournament, surpassing their bronze medals in 2009 and 2011.
Despite the gulf in experience between the two sides, the young Flyers played with speed, accuracy and maturity beyond their years as they went into quarter-time level 6-6 with their more experienced opponents.
Leading 15-12 at half-time, the Ferns put on a power play master class as shooters Maria Tutaia and Catherine Latu scored five super goals for the quarter to put the result beyond doubt.
Tutaia, who finished as the tournament’s most prolific three-point shooter, converted six of her side’s eight super goals for the game while the Australians could only respond with two of their own.
The Australians went into the fourth quarter with the power play but could do little to bridge the 49-19 three-quarter time deficit as New Zealand held on to win the Fast5 Netball World Series.
“(Maria and Catherine) are brilliant from outside the circle but I’m proud of our girls, we gave it our all,” Flyers co-captain Demelza McCloud said.
“We’ve got some players who have never played ANZ Championship and now they’re playing against the Ferns in a final so that experience will be something that will benefit the country for years to come.”