Australia shine in a thrilling opening day at the Fast5 World Series

An explosive first day at the Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne culminated with Australia defeating New Zealand for the first time since 2012 in the modified format.

Over 5,000 fans were treated to plenty of excitement on court, as well loads of action off the court with light shows, dance competitions and crowd quizzes, keeping the lively crowd entertained throughout the day.

The world’s top six netballing nations; Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Jamaica and Malawi, brought their all to the court and embraced the spirit of the Fast5 World Series.

“It’s fun, it’s really bright and colourful, and we are enjoying the atmosphere,” Australian captain Susan Pettitt said.

Australia began their 2016 Fast5 Netball World Series campaign with a nail-biting one-point win over the Series’ dark horse Malawi.

In game two Jamaica held off a fast finishing South Africa to steal the game by three points.

Power plays continued to change the outcome of matches before game eight, the penultimate of the evening, went down to the wire with South Africa fighting back to draw with England with a three-point super shot in the closing moments.

The first day of action finished on a high with Australia defeating New Zealand in a hard fought battle between netball’s most famous rivals to finish the opening day as the only undefeated outfit.

Maria Tutaia shot a staggering 18 points during New Zealand’s power play in the third quarter but Australia took advantage of their own power play in the fourth period to snatch the victory 32 – 29.

“I’m really happy with how the girls played today. We had a tough match against Malawi at the start of the day but to finish with a win over New Zealand was an awesome way to wrap up the day,” Pettitt said.

The second and final day of the series will see teams battle it out for a place in the Grand Final, with Australia keen to claim their first Fast5 Netball World Series title.

Day two will also play host to a celebrity Fast5 match, with the likes of Billy Brownless, Erin Molan, John Steffensen and Tim Gilbert, trying their hand at netball’s newest and most exciting format.

General admission tickets for this year’s Fast5 Netball World Series are available now via Ticketek.

Nine’s Wide World of Sports will continue their broadcast of the Fast5 Netball World Series from 12.00pm AEDT on Sunday, October 30 on GEM.