The Australian netballers came from behind in the final quarter to edge out the Silver Ferns 53-51 in last night's first test in Christchurch.
After going virtually point-for-point throughout the match, two intercepts late in the final period proved decisive. With the scores locked at 49-all, Australia's Julie Prendegast stole the ball and debutante shooter Kate Beveridge gave Australia a one goal lead.
Then the Ferns looked set to strike back immediately, only for a leaping Bianca Chatfield to take a stunning intercept, giving the visitors a two goal break that they were able to ride home.
Maria Tutaia top scored for New Zeaalnd with 26 from 28 attempts while Irene Van Dyk, playing goal attack made 25 from 30.
The second test is in Auckland on Saturday.