Silver Ferns fall to England, medal hopes on knife-edge

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A 54-45 loss to England has left the Silver Ferns' Commonwealth Games semi-final hopes in the balance.

The loss was New Zealand's second in pool play after they were upset 57-53 by Malawi on Sunday.

The Kiwis had earlier beaten Uganda, Wales and Scotland, and now must wait on other results to see if they've made the top four.

Malawi are unlikely to qualify, needing a win of 70-plus over Wales to edge the Silver Ferns on goal average, but Uganda pose more of a threat.

If they can keep Scotland to 37 goals or less, and win by 41 or more, they'll oust New Zealand for second in the pool and make the medal play-offs.

Skipper Katrina Grant said the Ferns had only themselves to blame for the uncertainty.

"We shouldn't have let it get to somebody else deciding how we're going to make the semis," she said.

"But we've done this to ourselves and we just have to deal with it."

The Ferns kept pace with England early on, level 12-12 at the first break after a strong defensive effort, particularly from Grant and goalkeeper Temalisi Fakahokotau in the circle.

England edged further in front to lead 26-24 at half-time lead, extending that margin to 40-34 lead at the three-quarter mark.

The Ferns worked hard in the last quarter, closing the gap to three midway through the spell before falling away in the closing minutes.

English shooters Jo Harten and Helen Housby were clinical in shooting at 86 per cent, sinking 54 from 63.

In contrast, Silver Ferns shooters Maria Folau, Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Bailey Mes could only mange 45 from 62 for a sub-par 73 per cent accuracy.

The New Zealanders continued to generate turnover ball, but struggled to convert it at the other end of the court.

"We just didn't treasure it enough, then near the end all seven of us made silly errors," Grant said.

"At the end, you're just trying so darn hard to get the ball back and you end up trying too hard.

"It's really tough to take."