England lost 58-45 in the opening match of the Cadbury Netball Series against the Silver Ferns in Hamilton.
Having not played since January, the Vitality Roses looked rusty and found themselves with a eight-point deficit just 10 minutes into the match.
Kadeen Corbin produced a score to make it 15-10 at the end of the first quarter but there was little the Roses could do prevent the hosts leading 32-24 at half-time.
Although England sharpened up throughout the match, a heavy penalty count ultimately cost them as the Ferns eased to victory.
Co-captain Laura Malcolm said: "There were some moments of really good stuff from us in attack, when we used clean lines and just opened it up but I guess it's just inconsistency, but really great work from the defence to get some turnovers and get us some opportunities for goals.
"We saw Imogen Allison come on and get her first cap and she looked like she was made for this. It was really great to have the youngsters on and to see them step up to the challenge."