South Africa's Lenize Potgieter and Australia's Jo Weston in action at the Spark Arena in Auckland on Saturday. Mandatory Photo: Michael Bradley

The Proteas netball team made a stunning start to their Quad Series match against Australia, but could not sustain the pressure, going down 61-44 to the world champions in Auckland on Saturday.

Just two points separated the two sides after the first quarter, with Australia leading 13-11 thanks to a faultless shooting performance by Caitlin Bassett and Steph Wood.

The South Africans held the advantage shortly before the end of the quarter before the Aussies got their noses in front.

For the stats nerds out there, it turns out it was the lowest first-quarter score for Australia against South Africa in 14 years.

South Africans sustained the pressure on their more esteemed opponents, with the two sides going into the halftime break with only four points between them. 

The Diamonds went from third gear to sixth in the third quarter, adding 18 points to their score, while the South Africans only managed to score eight. 

South Africa left eight goals on the court in the third stanza, with the two sides going into the fourth quarter with the scores on 46-32 to the Aussies.

It was a brutal display by the Aussies, pretty much sealing the victory with a quarter to spare.

The South Africans managed to stop the bleeding in the final stanza, with the Australians scoring 15 to the 12 goals by the Proteas.

The Proteas scored a major victory in 2017, beating the England Roses for the first time since 2013 in their final Quad Series match in Invercargill, New Zealand, winning the match 54-51. 

The English side has since become the side to beat after their one-point victory over Australia to claim the Commonwealth Games title in April.

On Saturday, they shocked New Zealand claiming a 52-39 victory to continue their rise in world netball.

South Africa will next meet New Zealand on Tuesday.

 

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