Australia have defeated the Silver Ferns 60-55 in Melbourne to wrap up the 2018 Quad Series.
The revamped New Zealanders continued their trend of improvement under Noeline Taurua but ultimately fell short of the clinical world champs.
The Kiwi shooting combo of Maria Folau and Te Paea Selby-Rickett were both impressive but found their opportunities limited by a dominant Australian defense.
The Australians out-muscled their trans-Tasman neighbours in the circle at both ends, with shooter Caitlin Bassett at her imperious best under the net.
The Silver Ferns showed they are back on track under Taurua after just three weeks in the role.
The teams went almost point for point in the opening quarter before the Diamonds broke away for a five-goal margin.
They maintained that lead at halftime despite the efforts of Folau, who had her best game of the series.
Teenage goal shooter Aliyah Dunn chimed in with 10 goals from 10 attempts in the final quarter while veteran midcourter Laura Langman looked sharp after returning to the New Zealand team after a two-year absence.
The lead went out to 10 early in the final quarter but the Diamonds struggled to put their opponents away and the Kiwis cut that margin in half with two minutes to play.
The Australians held on but there were definite signs their long-standing rivalry has resumed.
In the opening game of the double-header, England fought back to steal a win at the death over South Africa.