Caitlin Bassett of Australia during the Quad Series clash with South Africa in Canberra.
Caitlin Bassett of Australia during the Quad Series clash with South Africa in Canberra. LUKAS COCH

Diamonds wary of hurting Silver Ferns

CAPTAIN Caitlin Bassett says the Diamonds will face one of the most dangerous New Zealand sides in recent times in Sunday's Quad Series finale.

Bassett said the Silver Ferns' surprise 49-45 loss to England on Wednesday would add spice to the clash in Invercargill.

"They won't have liked losing," said Bassett as she prepares to lead Australia for the third time.

"England were stung after our game and now they (New Zealand) will be hurt after this match.

"It will make for great netball."

The Diamonds are in the box seat to claim the Quad Series honours as the only undefeated team, after beating South Africa 58-52 and England 54-50.

After the Silver Ferns beat South Africa by seven goals in their series-opener, they were without star shooter Maria Tutaia, who was on bereavement leave, in their loss to England.

Australia will also be looking for a better performance on Sunday after it was held in Canberra on Wednesday night to its equal-lowest winning margin in clashes with South Africa.

The Diamonds are using the Quad Series to blood rookies and give other players more court time to test combinations before next year's Commonwealth Games.

Their form in the first half against the South Africans was of particular concern after trailing by two goals at the main break.

"We need to get as many players out there as possible," Bassett said.

"But there are definitely parts of the game we aren't happy with and need to improve."

Bassett has been delighted with the fact players and fans are witnessing the closest matches between four of the top five netball nations in the world in recent times.

"I said to the girls before the game 'we need to relish this'. South Africa getting better is great for us because we play well when we are challenged," she said.

"We want to be challenged. It is fantastic to walk away from a game and think 'wow, we were pushed and we rose above it and came out on top'."