Unconvincing Diamonds ready to shine

Sep 1, 2017 - 5:33 PM Lisa Alexander's Diamonds may be poised to wrap up the quad series title, but the Australian netball coach isn't happy.

After victories over England and South Africa earlier in the week, Australia need only a win against New Zealand in Invercargill on Sunday to complete an unbeaten run.

And with the Silver Ferns shaken by their 49-45 loss to England three days ago, the Diamonds are odds-on favourites to comfortably secure the series.

The world champions haven't always been convincing in their two previous quad series matches, a 54-50 victory over England and a 58-52 win over South Africa.

Alexander says her team have yet to deliver four good quarters, and eliminating that inconsistency will be key against New Zealand.

Cutting back on an error rate which ballooned out against South Africa, particularly in the closing stages, will also be crucial.

"In the last quarter I think we got lots of turnover ball, but we made 10 unforced errors in our attack end," Alexander told AAP.

"We had an 11-goal lead there for a moment, and it should have been pushed out to about 18."

Alexander is looking for her improvement from her experienced midcourters, particularly Kim Ravaillion and Madi Robinson who have 95 caps between them.

Without Laura Langman - unavailable after committing to another year in the Australian Super Netball competition - the Silver Ferns midcourt has a raw look to it.

Shannon Francois is the most experienced with 37 caps, while Whitney Souness (two) and Gina Crampton (eight) are still learning the ropes.

Nevertheless, Alexander is expecting at torrid battle at Stadium Southland.

"It's never easy - the Kiwis always bring their best to us, it's just the way it is," she said.

"It's ingrained in their netball DNA, and it's ingrained in ours. We're expecting an absolute mighty fight."

Source: AAP

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