New Zealand 45-55 England: Roses rally to beat Silver Ferns and force series decider

New Zealand v England
England lost 48-42 to New Zealand in the opening game of the three-match series

England came from behind to beat world champions New Zealand 55-45 in the second of their three-match series in Christchurch.

After losing a tight opening game on Monday, Jess Thirlby's Roses rallied from a three-goal deficit in the first half to take the series to a decider.

"It's all the hard work coming to fruition," England captain Serena Guthrie told Sky Sports Netball.

The final game takes place on Friday.

England's victory was the first time they have beaten the Silver Ferns in New Zealand since September 2018.

"We've been hunting for this against a top-three team for a really long time," Guthrie said.

"We weren't happy with Monday night and there were a few too many errors in that first quarter. We could have pushed forward a bit more.

"We are not there yet but you've got to play the game in front of you and I'm so proud of the team tonight."

Both Thirlby and New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua made changes for the game, with Thirlby bringing in Imogen Allison and George Fisher and Taurua calling upon Sulu Fitzpatrick as captain.

After trailing 24-21 at half-time, England produced a spirited fightback - with defender Geva Mentor on the end of a bloodied nose - to snatch the lead 37-34 in a thrilling third quarter.

The Roses then scored five goals in 11 minutes thanks to Fisher and substitute Sophie Drakeford-Lewis in a dominant final quarter to seal victory.

Thirlby told Sky Sports netball she was impressed with her side's resilience after defeat earlier in the week.

"You saw that the shackles came off," she said. "They were having so much fun in that second half, which is so rewarding to see."

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