After scoring a comfortable 54-43 win over South Africa yesterday, the Proteas challenged the Ferns all the way.
The Ferns led by just one goal against the fifth world ranked side after the first quarter.
Sulu Fitzpatrick then replaced Kelly Jury at goal keep, in an attempt to tighten up the defensive end.
The Ferns led 28-25 at half time.
A plucky South Africa wouldn't go away - equalising with New Zealand midway through the third quarter.
They then took a three goal lead, while the New Zealand side started to look a bit shellshocked.