‘Unfathomable’: Kiwis humiliated
NEW Zealand netball has plunged into crisis after the Silver Ferns were on the wrong end of the greatest upset at the Commonwealth Games.
The Kiwis were sensationally overrun in the final quarter on Sunday night to lose 57-53 to Malawi after they had earlier led in the third quarter 39-35.
The disastrous result which has put the Silver Ferns on the brink of failing to qualify for the semi-finals, has plunged the team into crisis with fans and commentators demanding answers for the team's stunning demise over the past 12 months.
New Zealand has earlier this tournament beaten Uganda and Wales in unconvincing displays, but they were found wanting against Malawi.
Aussie netball legend Liz Ellis had last week written New Zealand off as a serious challenger to Australia at the Gold Coast Games, saying England presented more of a threat to the Diamonds.
Still, even she was shocked to see them fall so dramatically to Malawi.
Ellis joined netball commentators in expressing her shock at the result.
Others from New Zealand want explanations.
At the moment Malawi pulled off the result, the crowd at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre went nuts.
Channel 7 commentators couldn't believe the crazy scenes at the full time whistle.
"You can't imagine what they are going to do after this win. This is huge for Malawi," a Seven commentator said.
"The players are starting to know it. They're going crazy. Oh, this is fantastic. Scenes of absolute joy for Malawi! They've done what they've never done before. They've beaten New Zealand 57-53."
It was the first time Malawi has ever beaten New Zealand after 10 meetings between them and coach Whyte Mulilima couldn't hide his emotion.
"We have beaten the untouchables. We can walk tall now," Mulilima said.
"Everybody will be shocked back home. They never expected us to win.
"God gave me the strength and the wisdom to beat New Zealand. So I'm thankful to God, thankful to the players and to all the crowd for their support."
The loss means the Kiwis now have to beat England in pool play to be assured of a place in the top four, and a shot at the play-offs.
Coach Janine Southby says the result is hugely disheartening.
"We're really disappointed in the product we put out there today, and we got punished for it.
"In the third quarter we just took the foot off and made it hard for ourselves."
The Silver Ferns now have one loss to go with earlier big wins over Wales (70-44) and Uganda (64-51), and face Scotland on Monday before Wednesday's key clash against England.
- with AAP