South Africa shock England with upset victory

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South Africa delivered the netball quad series upset they had been promising all week, beating England 54-51 at Invercargill's Stadium Southland.

After narrow earlier losses to Australia and New Zealand, the Proteas showed resolve and focus in a hectic final quarter on Sunday to shut out the more favoured English outfit.

South African coach Norma Plummer said she'd been confident her team was poised for a breakthrough.

"We've got a mature team but they've never had the opportunity to play under this intensity," she told NZ Newswire.

"We've been close before and it's been building. Every team we played - Australia, New Zealand and now England - constantly had to change their team.

"I think it's a feather in our cap that we can play the four quarters out and we didn't have to change while the opposition did."

Running the same starting seven which upset New Zealand 49-45 in Canberra on Wednesday, England were all business from the first whistle.

But the Proteas, marshalled by their endlessly energetic captain Bongiwe Msomi at wing attack, dug in and edged ahead 13-11 at the first break.

Msomi's combination with centre Erin Burger continued to stretch the England defence outside the circle, and the South Africans showed real confidence in feeding shooter Lenize Potgieter (43 from 45) from long range.

Ahead 42-38 at the three-quarter mark, South Africa extended their lead to six midway through the final spell and held off a frenzied English finish in the closing minutes.