England lose 54-47 to New Zealand in second match of three-Test series in Hamilton

Fran Williams in action for England
England's series against New Zealand is their first competitive action since March

England have lost their series against world champions New Zealand after a 54-47 defeat in the second match of their three-Test series in Hamilton.

The Roses led 25-23 at half-time, but a dominant third quarter helped the Silver Ferns take control.

Serena Guthrie, on her 100th England appearance, was forced off in the second half with an ankle injury.

"I'm really proud of the girls," said England acting head coach Kat Ratnapala.

"There was some learning we took into this game and still some learning to take, that third quarter was costly for us.

"But we went in at the end of the first half leading and won a quarter, so there's massive positives we will take."

England made one change from the side that was beaten 58-45 in the first Test on Wednesday, with Sophie Drakeford-Lewis coming in for Kadeen Corbin.

They made a strong start, taking the lead for the first time in the series and holding that two-point advantage at the break.

But the hosts made a flying start to the second half, rattling off six straight points within five minutes of the restart to move into a lead they never relinquished.

England then suffered a further blow when Guthrie rolled her ankle and had to be carried off court by her team-mates.

Eleanor Cardwell, who switched from goal attack to goal shooter to accommodate the return of Drakeford-Lewis, top-scored for England with 19.

"When it comes to crunch time we need to nail it and that's where we fell short today," said Roses co-captain Laura Malcolm.

"It's more discipline in those critical moments, but we are pushing to get better."

The final match of the three-Test series, the 100th meeting between the two sides, is on Sunday (06:00 GMT).

England starting seven: GK Quashie, GD Williams, WD Clarke, C Guthrie, WA Malcolm, GA Drakeford-Lewis, GS Cardwell.

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