The Silver Ferns started off at a hectic pace, scoring nine goals before the South Africans were able to get onto the scoreboard. Goal-shooter Chrisna Bootha, who appeared to be struggling, called for a time-out, and was substituted by Melissa Myburgh, who scored South Africa’s first goal after six and a half minutes.
The Proteas, who were having difficulty getting the ball into their circle, managed another four goals in the first quarter to trail the Silver Ferns 18-5.
From the second quarter, the Proteas began playing more confidently. Bongiwe Msomi, playing at centre, had an excellent game, achieving some outstanding turnovers. Bootha returned, once again showing the steadiness for which she has become known.
At the other end of the court, defender Vanes-Mari du Toit showed that she is improving steadily with every game she plays.
The Silver Ferns, who lost heavily to arch rivals Australia a week ago, used all 12 players as they tried out various combinations in preparation for their match against the world champions on Thursday, and the Proteas were able to take some advantage of the situation.
Even so, New Zealand had the upper hand throughout the match, restricting South Africa to just five goals in each of the first three quarters. New Zealand led 31-10 at halftime, and 47-15 after the third quarter.
One of the big differences between the two sides was the accuracy of the shooters – former Protea Irene van Dyk succeeded with 21 out of 23 shots at goal, and Cathrine Latu had a hundred percent success rate, scoring 27 goals, while the South African success rate was much lower.
Myburgh succeeded with four out of six attempts, Bootha with 15 from 24 and Maryke Holtzhausen five from 11 attempts.
But Captain Amanda Mynhardt believed there were positives to be taken from the match, in spite of the heavy defeat.
“There were times when we were able to get through their defence, and we are learning all the time by playing against the best teams in the world,” she said. “We want to put everything we’ve learnt into a great performance against England on Thursday.”Quad-Series Fixtures for the SPAR Proteas: Sun 14 Oct: New Zealand 63-27 South Africa (Adelaide) Wed 17 Oct: Australia 63-31 South Africa (Newcastle) Sun 21 Oct: England 62-53 South Africa (Sydney) Thu 25 Oct: Australia 68-36 South Africa (Wellington) Sun 28 Oct: New Zealand v South Africa (Invercargill) Thu 1 Nov: England v South Africa (Hamilton) The SA Netball Squad for the 2012 Quad Series: Chrisna Bootha Maryka Holtzhausen Melissa Myburgh Lindie Lombard Nadia Uys Bongiwe Msomi Thuli Qegu Zanele Mdodana (Vice-Captain) Vanes-Mari du Toit Karla Mostert Amanda Mynhardt (Captain) Adele Niemand