Australia court NZ quad-series showdown

Australia coach Lisa Alexander has said their Quad Series clash with New Zealand carries Commonwealth Games implications.

The unbeaten Diamonds can wrap up the four-nation tournament with a sixth successive win over the Silver Ferns in Johannesburg on Sunday (9pm AEDT).

However, a Silver Ferns win will throw the tournament wide open.

However, Alexander was looking at the longer-term significance of the trans-Tasman clash, a little more than two months out from the Commonwealth Games.

"There is no doubt that the winner of the netball Quad Series title will walk away with somewhat of an advantage over their opponents leading into the Commonwealth Games," Alexander said.

"It is important that we finish the series strongly, and continue to show constant improvement in each outing."

The series has proved challenging for both teams.

New Zealand went down 64-57 to England in extra time and worked hard to see off South Africa 51-46 in Johannesburg.

Australia notched four-goal wins over both opponents in London.

The Diamonds will be buoyed by the result a year ago to the day when they beat New Zealand 57-50 in the equivalent fixture in Durban.

However, Alexander is wary their arch-rivals will be motivated after the Diamonds won the Constellation Cup series 4-0 in October.

"They will hit back hard," she said.

"We'll need to be ruthless against New Zealand and press home an advantage if given the opportunity. If we give them an inch, they'll take the full mile and run with it."

Australia squad: Caitlin Bassett (capt), April Brandley, Courtney Bruce, Paige Hadley, Emily Mannix, Susan Pettitt, Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Caitlin Thwaites, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Stephanie Wood.

New Zealand squad: Katrina Grant (capt), Kayla Cullen, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Maria Folau, Shannon Francois, Kelly Jury, Grace Kara, Bailey Mes, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Samantha Sinclair, Whitney Souness, Jane Watson.