Silver Ferns win Netball World Cup: How the world reacted
The Silver Ferns have won their fifth Netball World Cup title after beating the Australian Diamonds 52-51 in the final in Liverpool.
Your 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup champions!July 21, 2019
It's the first time New Zealand has lifted the World Championship trophy in 16 years and marks an impressive turnaround for the Ferns after last year's fourth place finish at the Commonwealth Games. Here's how the world reacted.
In the UK, The Guardian's Niall McVeigh said this in his liveblog:
"New Zealand have a population of less than five million. They've won World Cups in rugby union, rugby league, netball - and so nearly cricket, too. Not forgetting a mighty haul of sailing silverware.
"Are they, as a nation, the biggest sporting overachievers on the planet?"
Former England international Sara Bayman wrote for BBC:
"What a game and what composure from the Silver Ferns. I've never seen a team battle so hard. They refused to lose today."
Watching from back here in New Zealand were Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson.
Mr Robertson told First Up the match made the early start worth it.
"We decided it was going to be a stressful occasion, netball games between Australia and New Zealand always are and so we thought we'd share the stress and I know she's immensely proud of the team as I am.
"I got to spend some time with the team earlier in the week when I was over in the UK and they were really calm, they were really organised and I think Noeline Taurua... has just got a massive role to play in that. She's brought a structure to the team and the players have totally bought into it and they just exuded that professionalism and that calmness in those very very stressful last few minutes."
Mr Robertson also hinted there'll likely be a celebration for the team when they arrive back in New Zealand.
"I'm pretty sure the people of New Zealand will want to give them a huge welcome and we'll no doubt have some conversations about that in the coming hours."
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark was quick to share her congratulations.
Also up for the early morning match was National leader Simon Bridges.
The Silver Ferns also got some support from Black Caps Test bowler Neil Wagner.
@SilverFernsNZ you beauty!!! Congratulations girls! Awesome stuff! Well done the Ferns!!— Neil Wagner (@NeilWagner13) July 21, 2019
Fellow Black Cap Ross Taylor managed to show his support, just a week after feeling the same bitter disappointment Australia just had.
Congratulations @SilverFernsNZ World Champions— Ross Taylor (@RossLTaylor) July 21, 2019
International English hockey player Samantha Quek also celebrated the Silver Ferns' success.
What a great final!!! I’m worn out just watching it.July 21, 2019
The Ferns also had support from the All Blacks who have just returned from Argentina.
Former Diamonds Goal Keep Sharni Layton tweeted her support of her old team as well as congratulations to the Ferns.
So proud of our @AussieDiamonds - they are our team of the future and will continue to grow into the stars they are. Congrats to @SilverFernsNZ who had a ripper tournament and played better on the day. Netball - you are the winner. What an epic world cup its been #ThisIsNetball— Sharni Layton (@Sharni_Layton) July 21, 2019
'They believed in each other'
Yvonne Willering, former Silver Fern and coach, watched from the stands in Liverpool and said it was an epic battle, which at times seemed like it could go either way.
"What I did enjoy is that the Silver Ferns in the past and even so long as four months ago they probably would have faltered but this team had tremendous belief. They believed in each other and they had confidence in each other."
"There was a period of time when [goal shoot] Maria Folau wasn't the most accurate and then Ekenasio just stepped in and she started shooting - that gave confidence to Folau and back she came as well."
Sports commentator Brendon Telfer was in Jamaica in 2003 for the New Zealanders' last win. "To say this side was magnificent is to do them a disservice," he told First Up. "They played for sixty minutes with deep intense concentration, every player on the court. Every player made a contribution."