The New Zealand netball team has made a less than perfect start to the Fastnet World Series in Liverpool.
They lost to arch-rivals Australia 25-19 before scraping past Malawi 29-23 in their first two games of the six-nation tournament on Friday.
The Fastnet Ferns, with Grace Rasmussen the only Silver Fern in the squad, could not match the pace of the Australians in the shortened version of the game, outscored by their opponents in the four six-minute quarters.
The Fastnet Ferns also trailed Malawi in the first three quarters of their match before taking the lead and pulling out to a relatively comfortable victory.
However, the New Zealanders know they must improve dramatically if they are to defend the title they won last year.