1 Sep 2016

Silver Ferns take aim at Diamonds

9:56 am on 1 September 2016

The Silver Ferns assistant coach Yvette McCaursland-Durie says they'll be putting in some big days in training to prepare for Australia in the last match of the netball Quad Series.

New Zealand's Jane Watson in action during the Netball Quad Series netball match netball match - Silver Ferns v South Africa played at Claudelands Arena, Hamilton, New Zealand on Wednesday 31 August 2016.

New Zealand's Jane Watson in action during the Netball Quad Series match against South Africa. Photo: Photosport

Last night New Zealand scored a 19 goal victory over South Africa to go with their first up win over England.

The true test for the new look side and the new coaching staff will be in Sunday's game in Melbourne against Australia, who are also unbeaten in the Quad Series.

McCaursland-Durie said there are some obvious areas to improve before then.

"The seamless continuity through attack, keeping good discipline around the lines that we're playing so we're working to reduce the ability to get ball off us.

"Then defensively just looking at our whole team defence so that we're able to create pressure right from our goal shoot end through to the goal keep and have a bit more sustained intensity through that whole area."

After not starting in the opening game against England, Grace Rasmussen was named to start at wing attack with Shannon Francois moving back to centre, laura Langman to wing defence and Kayla Cullen dropped to the bench.

A sloppy first quarter by the home side helped the Proteas take a surprise 16-14 lead and forced Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby make two changes to her starting lineup, bringing on Jane Watson and Cullen as well as moving Langman to centre.

The Ferns then foughtback to be ahead 32-27 at half time and dominated the final quarter to score a 19 goal victory.

McCaursland-Durie saids while some might not have thought so, last night's 19 goal victory over South Africa was an improved performance from their first game against England.

Although the Proteas are ranked fifth in the world compared to the Silver Ferns at number two, Silver Ferns captain Katina Grant conceded the tourists made life difficult for them, particularly in the first half.

"We had to really grind it out ... they were really niggly and I think South Africa did a really good job on us tonight.

"(It was) unorthodox in that first quarter especially and I think our defence ... got caught chasing (the play) a wee bit which is not our style."

New Zealand have now beaten England and South Africa in the series and on Sunday play Australia, a match which is set to decide the series winner.

Grant said they still need to work on "basics and combinations" ahead of that match.

There were several newcomers in the squad and Grant said "It all still feels a little bit new ... despite the time we have had together. It's just little links we need to tidy up on and once they start clicking we'll be a great team."

Despite the slow start to the match Grant said she was impressed with the way the side finished in the final quarter as it showed what they are capable of.

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