The Diamonds have started 2018 with a four-goal win over South Africa in the closest match between the two sides.

Australian coach Lisa Alexander was pleased with her side’s victory. 
“They [South Africa] are stronger and fitter, they have a great combination that’s worked together for quite a while now and they are doing quite a good job as a team," Alexander said.

"It’s tough for us to come up against them, but at the end of the day we did what was needed when needed, ” she said.

Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett showed great confidence in the first quarter with neither missing a goal. 

South Africa came out hungry in the second quarter and looked sharp in attack, they managed to challenge Australia across the court. 

South Africa levelled the score two minutes before halftime before going into halftime with a one-goal advantaged. 

Diamonds player Liz Watson said it was an extremely tough game. 

“We knew it was going to be like that, the physicality was there, which we had spoken about during our preparations," Watson said.
“It was a grind, but we found a way and that’s something we pride ourselves on,” she said.

A change in the third quarter saw the introduction of Kate Moloney to centre and Susan Pettitt at goal attack, which brought some variation into Australia's attack. 

With five minutes left on the clock, Australia put their foot down to overcome South Africa. 

In the match before, England fought back in the final quarter before defeating New Zealand 64-57 in an extra-time thriller. 

The Diamonds will face England on Monday night.