Diamonds ready to hit Quad netball stride

Rookie midcourter Liz Watson is confident the Diamonds are gathering momentum at the right time ahead of Sunday's Quad Series netball finale against New Zealand in Invercargill.

The Australians are poised to retain their title after earlier wins over South Africa and England. The Kiwis stuttered in losing 49-45 on Wednesday to England.

While there have been questions around the way the inexperienced Diamonds have handled pressure at key times, Watson is confident the world champions are not far from their best.

"Our biggest focus is going to be consistency," she told NZ Newswire.

"We're building - against England, we had a half; South Africa maybe closer to three quarters.

"We're still looking for four quarters of consistent netball but we've been building."

She says adjusting quickly to New Zealand's space-marking game will be vital.

"They're a bit more off-line, a bit more of a zone defence. They've got really strong ends and their midcourt has really slotted in."

Watson, 23, played almost 60 minutes against South Africa, sidelined in the blood bin for only the final 30 seconds.

She impressed coach Lisa Alexander with a strong all-round effort in only her fourth game for Australia, supplementing her core roles in attack with productive and occasionally spectacular work on through-court defence.

"I think Liz did really well against the South Africans - she was very strong, there was lots of variety in her attack and her feeding was good," Alexander said.

Whether Watson did enough to earn court time against world No.2 New Zealand remained to be seen.

Alexander wasn't hugely impressed with her team's performances in either their 54-50 win over England, or the 58-52 defeat of South Africa. She is looking for her seasoned internationals to step up in Invercargill.

"Kim Ravaillion and Madi Robinson are mightily experienced, and I expect a step up in their performance," Alexander said.

Uncharacteristically, the Diamonds were also guilty of a multitude of mistakes, particularly in the final quarter against South Africa, leaving Alexander with a simple target to impress on her team.

"Our focus is just to cut out the unforced errors."