Netball World Cup final: 'I can't wait for tomorrow' - Taurua

12:48 pm on 21 July 2019

The Silver Ferns did not play to their potential against Australia in the group games, coach Noeline Taurua says, and she's confident they can win the World Cup.

20/07/2019 - Netball - Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 - England v New Zealand - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England - New Zealand's Jane Watson celebrates the win.
Copyright photo: Alex Whitehead / /

Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson acknowledges the crowd after the Ferns' victory over England. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019

The New Zealanders upset hosts England 47-45 in this morning's semi-finals in Liverpool to set up a showdown with arch rivals and defending champions Australia in tomorrow morning's title decider.

Today New Zealand came out of the blocks fast, leading 12-9 after the first quarter. England made some changes in the second quarter and rapidly closed in on the lead, finishing 24-21 up at half-time, but the Silver Ferns responded in the third spell and went into the final turn, with a 3-goal lead.

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua during the Quad Series between New Zealand and Australia

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2018

They held on thanks to some near perfect shooting from Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Maria Folau and some huge defensive plays from Jane Watson and Casey Kopua.

The Ferns lost to Australia by just one goal earlier in the tournament, and Taurua is confident they can reverse that result.

"When I came off the Australia game I rated it probably a six or seven. Even though we were one behind and we had a great fightback there was stuff we kept repetitively doing and we're better than that."

An emotional Taurua said reaching the final meant more to her than many people realised. It was brilliant to prove the doubters wrong and everything was gelling in the squad at the right time.

"A lot of expectation but we're in the big dance as we say. Already we feel like we've won in some respects so it's really exciting what tomorrow can bring for us.

"We've been chipping away every day and it's starting to come together at the right time so I can't wait for tomorrow."

She hailed the shooting of Ekenasio (25 goals from 26) and Maria Folau who was named as Player of the Match in today's semi-final.

"We've been talking about that and how we can get more ball to our shooters knowing that more than likely it's going through the hoop.

"Ameliaranne had an outstanding game. She was able to put the ball through especially in those crucial moments. Yes, just really happy with our shooting end."

20/07/2019 - Netball - Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 semi final - England v New Zealand - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England - Ameliaranne Ekenasio of New Zealand.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio, right, turned on an immaculate display of shooting for the Silver Ferns. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019

She said she was not surprised by how far her squad had come in the 11 months since she took over. The upset win was not a shock for her.

"It was just once again about whether we could actually do it ... putting action to words and that's always an uncertainty.

"But there's been a lot going on behind the scenes. Everyone's contributed to it. I sort of knew but just had to wait to see."

20/07/2019 - Netball - Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 semi final - England v New Zealand - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England - Laura Langman of New Zealand and Jade Clarke of England.

Laura Langman is challenged by Jade Clarke of England. Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019

Captain Laura Langman believes the team has recaptured top form and said the Ferns are back.

"It's been a journey... If you look around the players that got the nod here there's been so much personal development, so for us although the game is hugely important it was so much more than that.

"And I think today it meant that so very special."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs