Janine Southby's Silver Ferns might learn more from a loss than a win but don't expect them to enjoy it.

The New Zealanders are gearing up for the Quad Series finale against arch-rivals Australia in Invercargill today, just four days after losing to England 49-45 in Auckland.

The loss was only the fifth time in 88 tests the New Zealanders have gone down to the Roses, and Southby accepts it's one that could be invaluable.

"We all realise that we weren't at our best and we know we let ourselves down," she said.


"But there were good learnings from it, and sometimes you have to go into the dark places to get to the good stuff on the other side."

Things don't look set to improve dramatically any time soon for the New Zealanders.

They will sorely miss 107-cap veteran playmaker Maria Tutaia, still on bereavement leave, and there is still a raw look to their midcourt in the absence of Laura Langman.

But they will be boosted by the return of Kelly Jury from an ankle injury, the 1.92m circle defender sure to ramp up the pressure on 1.93m Diamonds shooter and captain Caitlin Bassett.

Southby has no illusions as to what the Ferns will be up against, even though Australian coach Lisa Alexander has less experience than usual at her disposal.

The Diamonds are light in the defensive third, where circle defenders April Brandley, Courtney Bruce, Jo Weston and Emily Mannix boast just 20 caps among them.

But Madi Robinson, Kim Ravaillion and Gabi Simpson provide plenty of midcourt steel, and the Australians have an accurate shooting circle in Bassett and Gretel Tippett.

"Against Australia, it's always going to be full-on and physical - they make you work hard for everything you get," Southby said.

"We know they're fast on attack, we know they've got height in the circle, and we know they've got very accurate shooters.

"It's about all our players being on top of their game for the full 60 minutes and that's something we haven't got to yet."