Silver Ferns win Netball World Cup: How the world reacted

9:30 am on 22 July 2019

The Silver Ferns have won their fifth Netball World Cup title after beating the Australian Diamonds 52-51 in the final in Liverpool.

Maria Folau and teammates react after winning the Netball World Cup with a 52-51 victory over Australia in the final.

Silver Ferns Goal Shoot Maria Folau celebrates winning the Netball World Cup. Photo: Photosport / AFP

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 live blog:

"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."

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Watching from 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."

Ms Ardern said the Silver Ferns deserved "huge recognition".

"You could see their heart and soul went into that last match and the whole tournament. It was an amazing final to watch. A big congratulations to all the team and to their masterful coach, Noeline Taurua."

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.

Fellow Black Cap Ross Taylor managed to show his support, just a week after feeling the same bitter disappointment Australia just had.

International English hockey player Samantha Quek also celebrated the Silver Ferns' success.

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.

'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."

The thrilling win was particularly special for captain Laura Langman, defender Casey Kopua and shooter Maria Folau, who had all played in the three previous finals when they'd been beaten by Australia.

Former Silver Ferns assistant coach Robyn Broughton said the mix of older and newer players in the team that won the Cup this morning will be crucial to its success in the future.

Having longstanding players in the team was hugely beneficial, she said.

"It's the sort of thing that makes a team a team. They have been there before, been there done that, [they are] experienced, and doing their best with the younger ones. The big find I think today is Ameliaranne Ekenasaio - she was outstanding."

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."