Silver Ferns 61
South Africa 37

When Maria Folau is on, she is on and there was no faulting her in the first quarter of the Netball Quad Series against South Africa in Tauranga tonight.

The day before the match newly appointed coach Noeline Taurua was clear on her team's need to improve on their campaign opener against England just days before - and that's exactly what they did.

Despite South Africa being first to get a point on the scoreboard, the Silver Ferns took control of the game right from the start.


Silver Ferns' goal defence Katrina Grant was hungry and there was no doubt she wanted the win. She had her eye on the ball and read her opposition well, not missing an opportunity to take the ball away from her opposition.

And the Ferns made the most of their own possession as well as their intercepts with the shooting circle of Folau and Te Paea Selby-Rickit converting their shots - a vast improvement on Saturday - ending the quarter with a 17-7 lead.

The Ferns had to work a lot harder in the second quarter, with South Africa putting the pressure on. The New Zealand side remained calm and were careful with the ball and smart with their passes.

Despite the pressure, the Silver Ferns increased their lead to 11 points, ending the second quarter with a score of 30-19.

Just three days, it seems, is plenty of time for Taurua to make a massive difference in her Ferns' game.

The Ferns' training the day before Tuesday night's game was a physical one. Players were purposely contacting, pulling on each other and making it hard for any player to move.

There was purpose to that.

The South African team was a physical side. Goal defence Karla Pretorius, goal keep Phumza Maweni and centre Bongiwe Msoni were key in putting the pressure on the Kiwis.

But with a vocal goal keep in Jane Watson directing her team and the always available mid-courter Laura Langman, whose reliability was invaluable, the Silver Ferns failed to break, continuing to stretch their lead each quarter following.

Bay girl Samantha Sinclair came on to the court at the third quarter as centre, with Langman moving into wing defence. By the end of the third quarter the Silver Ferns took a 44-33 lead.

Aliyah Dunn came on to the fourth quarter as goal shoot, scoring the first shot of the quarter - a good start to her first time on the court.

In the end the Silver Ferns proved too much for SPAR Proteas, taking the win of 61-37 in front of a packed and animated crowd at the ASB Baypark Stadium.

The Ferns will next head to Melbourne to take on the defending champions Australia in the Quad Series final on Sunday.