Veteran Australian Diamonds shooter Catherine Cox rates the current New Zealand netball team the best she's encountered in her 15-year Test career.
World champions Australia face their arch-rivals again on Sunday, with both teams unbeaten after two rounds of the Quad series following clashes with England and South Africa.
But the Silver Ferns hold the upper hand over Australia this year, winning the earlier Constellation Cup series 2-1.Cox, who has earned many of her 102 caps against New Zealand, said on Friday the 2012 Silver Ferns were the easily best she's seen, a huge compliment given she has played against their world championship and Commonwealth Games winning teams in the past.
''In terms of everything, the experience, the talent, everything has all got together at the one time,'' Cox said.
''It is by far the best Silver Ferns team that we've ever come up against, so for us to beat them we have to keep possession.
''It sounds like an easy thing to do, but it's certainly not.
''We must make sure we're scoring off our opportunities and not giving them any more ball to do the damage that they could do on us.
''You have to be on your game to beat them and we probably weren't when we played them in the Constellation series.
''But I think we've put out two decent performances the last couple of games, made a lot of changes but still been smooth with the transition when those new players have come on.
''I think we're more than capable of beating them, it is just about making sure that we are all playing together and playing well at the same time.''
Cox pointed to the established combinations New Zealand have, especially in the two circles, as a reason why the current lineup is so strong.
''A lot of those players have been together for a long long time and it's a starting seven that they don't mess with a whole heap,'' Cox said.
While formidable NZ defender Casey Williams is still searching for her very best form after coming back from injury, Cox isn't taking her old adversary lightly.
''Even Casey below par is an exceptionally good player, we have to remember that,'' Cox said.
''She's probably not exactly where she wants to be given that she's just had surgery, but she's still Casey Williams, so we certainly won't be underestimating what she's capable of.''
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