Johannesburg - The South Africa netball team lost their opening match of the Quad Series 63-27 to an experienced New Zealand side in Adelaide on Sunday.
The New Zealand Silver Ferns took an early lead in the first quarter, showing their dominance on the court.
However, the Proteas kept their cool and had some very good plays on the defensive.
Vanes-Mari du Toit was on top form making a number of crucial intercepts, and after lagging for the majority of the first quarter, the South Africans managed to pull it back ending it 9-14.
It was a similar showing in the second quarter as the Silver Ferns pushed on as the Proteas struggled against the snappy, quick movement and passing of the Silver Ferns on attack.
Bongiwe Msomi had a great game, finding the gaps on court, but the Proteas were conceding too many penalties.
The half-time score reflected the play as the Silver Ferns had doubled their score to put them at a 28-14 lead.
The match seemed to degenerate from this point as the Silver Ferns took ownership of the game.
Playing out of their comfort zone, and starting to tire, the Proteas were unable to keep up in the third and final quarter.
Not enough goals were moving to the South African goal circle, and the Silver Ferns won by a convincing margin.
"We knew this was going to be a tough match," said Proteas coach Elize Kotze.
"This has been a big learning curve for us.
"But we are going to take it one match at a time, and we now know that we have a lot of preparation to do before our next game."
South Africa play world number one Australia in their next match on Wednesday.