The New Zealand netball team have started their international season with a hard fought 63 -56 victory over South Africa in their opening Quad Series match in Brisbane.
The South Africans, coached by former Australian coach Norma Plummer, made a strong early start going goal for goal with the Silver Ferns in the opening minutes.
The New Zealand team just edged ahead to take the first quarter 18-16.
The South Africans, through shooter Lenize Potgieter, continued to keep the pressure on through the second quarter pulling the half time margin back to one point at 31 -30.
But Bailey Mes and Maria Tutaia slowly established their control through the third and final quarters with Katrina Grant disrupting a tiring South African attack.
The Ferns took a nine point lead into the third quarter finally closing the game out at 63 - 56.
Bailey Mes was the Ferns top shooter with 35 from 36 while Lenize Potgeiter led ther scoring for South Africa with 43 points.
Earlier in the Brisbane double header, Australia held off a late fight back from England to take their Quad series opener 54 - 50.
The Silver Ferns next play England in Auckland on Wednesday night before their match up against Australia in Invercargill next Sunday.