The Silver Ferns have narrowly avoided just their second ever defeat to South Africa in international netball.
New Zealand's edged South Africa 62-60 in its final Quad Series test in London, with 20 minutes of extra time needed to separate the two sides.
"It was an epic game," Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua said.
"It will take a wee while to calm down but in regards to a good quality international netball game it was a good demonstration from both teams."
The scores were level at 45-all at fulltime and still tied after two extra time periods, when Maria Folau drew the Ferns level with time up on the clock.
Folau then held her nerve to land the back-to-back goals which gave New Zealand the two-goal winning margin and secured the Ferns their first victory of the Quad Series.
"I thought there was many a moment where it could have gone either way if I was going to be honest," Taurua said.
"We probably could have sealed the deal a bit earlier...but I think that's what pressure does to you."
Folau finished with 36 goals from 42 attempts, while her shooting partner Ameliaranne Ekenasio was successful with 21 of her 28 shots.
Noeline Taurua believes she's found her shooting combination for the Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July.
"The combination...has slowly built as the series has come on and I'm really happy with the work that they've done behind the scenes.
"I think you know we've improved in that area and that's fantastic."
The Silver Ferns will now return home to their respective franchises to continue their world cup preparations.
Commonwealth Games champions England have beaten world number one ranked Australia 52-49 in the final game of the tournament.
The Diamonds still won the Quad Series.