Former England captain, Director of Netball at Loughborough Lightning and Netball Nation pundit Sara Bayman claims the Quad Series is the best one we've seen to date.
In this week's podcast, Bayman spoke about the Quad Series performances and explained why she thinks this makes the World Cup in so exciting. She said:
"This quad series is definitely the best one we’ve ever had, and it’s also bizarre, because all four teams will go away happy."
"It's a massive step forwards for New Zealand to push Australia that close after a poor performance against England the week before. They then went on to get the win against South Africa the next day, so will be going home thinking that they're making strides, their regrowth has started and as they've still got a few months until the World Cup – they'll be feeling pretty good.
Australia still won, and Australians like to win!
A little bit has been made about the fact that Australia and New Zealand are out of season, and that Australia were missing a couple of key players - so for them to win under those circumstances is impressive.
I think the standard of netball is still rising and you can’t predict who’s going to win, which is exactly what we want going into a World Cup!
Teams will be going into the World Cup thinking any one of four or five teams could beat us, or we could win the competition, meaning the pressure to perform is going to be huge. It’s amazing for spectators, because you just don’t know who’s going to win any given game.
Because England won the Australia game, they’ll go away thinking “yeah we had a blip in the South Africa game, but we’ve just beaten Australia again”. That will rile Australia and sets the Roses up nicely for world cup, so they’ll go away happy.
South Africa are the story of the Quad Series for me, because they’re finally putting performances together, not just as a one-off, but consistently challenging these big teams. They’re also now probably everyone’s second team because everyone loves them!
Everyone loves an underdog, and the amount of experience they’ve got, they’ve done it the hard way, because those girls have been flogged!
At the beginning of their careers, they lost to teams like Australia by 50 goals, and they’ve stuck at it, worked hard, learnt, gone away and got experiences in other leagues and now up to 12 years later, they’re still there and competing."
You can download episode three of the Netball Nation podcast to hear Sara's thoughts in full here.
By Kate Lightfoot