With only one round of games remaining in the 2017 Netball Quad Series, the competition couldn’t be any closer.
The Samsung Diamonds lead the charge with two wins from two, with England and New Zealand closely behind on one win each, following a surprise Roses win over the Silver Ferns in Auckland.
For the Diamonds and the Proteas in Canberra, it was the equal-closest game contested between the two nations, separated by only six goals.
Diamonds Defender April Brandley said the intensity in the first two Quad Series hit-outs has been at another level.
“The intensity has been really exceptional. It has been really high from the word go,” Brandley said.
“Everyone just keeps improving every time we play them. You can’t take anything for granted,” Brandley said.
“We knew South Africa would come out firing, they are a country who is really growing their netball every time we have come up against them.
“This Quad Series has been really close and tough, and that’s how we want it.”
Brandley said making the most of opportunities is critical in the competitive environment.
“You have to make the teams pay for every intercept we get and score off our centre passes.
“The level of netball, the speed, everything has picked up and it’s really exciting to see where our sport is going.”
The winner of the Netball Quad Series trophy will be decided on Sunday when England host South Africa and New Zealand host Australia in Invercargill.
Brandley says the Diamonds will be preparing for a tough away game, a familiar scenario when playing across the Tasman.
“It’s always really hard playing New Zealand in New Zealand, so we are expecting a really vocal and loud crowd,” Brandley said
“For us it’s just staying connected in the arena when everyone is batting against us.”
The Diamonds travel to Invercargill to face the Silver Ferns in the final match of the Netball Quad Series at 2.00pm AEST Sunday 3 September. Watch live on 9Gem and the Netball Live app.