Australia make it a clean sweep, winning every one of their matches and lifting the Quad Series trophy for a fourth time.
What is the Quad Series?
Contested twice a year, the Quad Series fixture sees four of the top five netball teams in the world; Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa compete against each other for the Quad Series Trophy. Teams play each other once and the team with the most points wins the series.
Hosting the event is shared between the four nations, with South Africa and England hosting the early series in January and February, and Australia and New Zealand hosting the later fixtures in August and September.
Quad Series September 2018 – How it played out:
The opening match of the series saw fifth in the world South Africa take on world number one Australia. A strong start by South Africa could not be maintained for the full course of the match and the Aussie Diamonds came through to win 61 – 44.
Next to the court were the New Zealand Silver Ferns against the England Roses. After a nail-biting first half ending with just one goal separating the two teams, the Roses stormed ahead to finally take the match 52-39, their biggest ever win over New Zealand.
World number three, New Zealand then met fifth in the world; South Africa. A disappointing start for the Proteas, saw the first quarter end 17-7 to dominant New Zealand. Despite returning to the second quarter with a stronger performance and scoring 12 goals, it was not enough to hold off the Silver Ferns who won the match comfortably with a final score of 61 – 37.
Following their surprise defeat by England at the Commonwealth Games, Australia had a lot to prove when the two teams met again in the third day of the Quad Series. The game was a closely fought contest with England Roses taking the lead in the first quarter 14-11. But by the close of the second quarter, Australia had swooped in to take the lead, which grew as play continued. By the final whistle, a few missed opportunities by the Roses and increased pressure by the Diamonds saw a 52 – 47 victory for Australia.
The final day of fixtures saw a tight match between England and South Africa, with South Africa finishing the first quarter three points up (10 -13). Changes on the England side saw them begin the second quarter with more gusto, yet South Africa proved stronger still, establishing a four-goal lead in the first five minutes of the second quarter. By half time South Africa had a seven–goal lead with a score of 27-20. England applied the pressure and closed the gap in the third quarter to 32-33, before a final show of grit and determination enabled the Roses to by-pass dominant South Africa, and finish the final quarter with a three-point lead, taking the win 42-45.
New Zealand’s Silver Ferns hoped to steal the Quad Series title from rivals Aussie Diamonds in the final match of the series. By the first quarter, Australia had a five-goal lead, resulting in a scrappy second quarter as New Zealand looked to draw equal. It wasn’t to be – Australia maintained their lead throughout the second half winning overall with a final result of 60-55.
Australia’s win makes it four Quad Series wins out of five for the Diamonds, having lost out to New Zealand in the same fixture in 2017.
The teams will go head to head for the final time before the Netball World Cup 2019 when the Quad Series begins again in January. A first for the tournament, the 2019 Quad Series will see all six games hosted in the UK, the first time the UK has held the entire six match Quad Series since its inception in 2016 (in 2017 and 2018 the UK hosted three of the games). Venues for the 2019 Quad Series are yet to be confirmed.