January 2018 Netball Quad Series Preview

Updated Monday 29th January 2018, 03:42 PM

In an event set to showcase some of the finest netball players on the planet, England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa resume their four-way rivalry. It is the first Quad Series of 2018 and will be split between London and Johannesburg, as the two host nations and Australia try to wrest the title away from defending champions New Zealand.

The Teams

  • Australia - Winners of the first two Quad Series, Australia’s unblemished record in the event finally came to an end in the final match of the autumn tournament when they were beaten 57-47 by Trans-Tasman foes New Zealand. The Diamonds have been put through their paces at a training camp in Canberra over the past few days and will be determined to reclaim their status as the dominant force in the Quad Series.
  • England - England have finished third in all three previous editions of the Quad Series and will be targeting at least two wins from their three matches this time around. Tracey Neville’s Roses will take confidence from their thrilling 49-45 win over New Zealand in Auckland last August and have Ama Agbeze as their captain for the series, but shooter Joanne Harten has been ruled due to injury.
  • New Zealand - New Zealand bounced back from their home loss to England in August to beat Australia and claim the title, with Te Paea Selby-Rickit producing an inspired performance to score 35 points. The Silver Ferns, who are once again sure to be serious challengers to Australia, have surprisingly left Southern Steel midcourter Gina Crampton out of their squad.
  • South Africa - South Africa beat England 54-51 in Invercargill in the most recent event to finally claim their first Quad Series victory at the ninth attempt. The SPAR Proteas have always been competitive, though, and with two matches at home this month will fancy their chances of springing a few more surprises.

Sports.net’s View

While this Quad Series will be viewed in some quarters as a tune-up for the Commonwealth Games, which take place on the Gold Coast in April, it is also a prestigious event in its own right with four of the top teams in the world competing. New Zealand managed to upset Australia’s dominance in the last Quad Series, but it was a different story when the two teams met in October’s Constellation Cup and the Diamonds ran out convincing winners. Australia look focused and ready to take this series by storm following a period of intense training at home.

South Africa have the potential to win a match or two, but the likeliest challengers to Australia this time could well be England. Even with the absence of shooter Joanne Harten, the Roses look to have a well-balanced squad capable of enjoying their best ever Quad Series. Tracey Neville’s team will be at home to New Zealand in their first match and a victory there would give them momentum for the second fixture, also at London’s Copper Box Arena, before they fly out to Johannesburg to take on South Africa in the final game.

Sports.net’s Top Tip

  • Australia to win the Quad Series

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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2018 03:42:32+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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