New Zealand's chances of defending their Fast5 netball world series title have taken a knock after losing 40-30 to Australia on Saturday in Melbourne.
England and Jamaica were the stand outs on day one of the event at Hisense Arena with victories in all three matches.
But the Aussies bounced back from an earlier loss to Jamaica by knocking off their trans-Tasman rivals to collect their second win of the six-nation tournament.
Needing the win to stay alive in the competition, Australia moved shooter Kaylia Stanton into the starting side and she delivered by nailing two four-pointers and a six-point super shot during a dominant 20-7 power play second quarter.
Down 14 at half-time, New Zealand closed the gap to seven in their power play third quarter but went scoreless for the final three minutes with the Aussies building the lead back up to 12 points at the final change.
New Zealand went on the attack in fourth but Australia maintained their defensive pressure to close out the match.
After a first-up 37-30 loss to England, the Fast5 Ferns defeated South Africa 40-26 in their second match.
But defeat at the hands of Australia leaves them relying on other results on day two to have any shot of defending their crown.
"Obviously we've had two disappointing losses," New Zealand mid-courter Erikana Pedersen said after the match.
"The only thing we can do, really, is look forward to our two games tomorrow.
"Big pressure on us to perform out there and yeah, we'll just be focusing on those two games."
The Kiwis must win against Jamaica and Malawi on Sunday to have any chance of making the top four and qualifying for the semi-finals.