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Ferns steal show in historic week

Opinion Piece

A magnificent win by the Silver Ferns in the final of netball’s world cup was a turnaround in many aspects and brought to a wonderful end a week which featured two historic markers.

The Ferns have made one of the most amazing turnarounds in the history of New Zealand sport. Last year they reached the depths at the Commonwealth Games, losing to Malawi in the group stages and failing to win a medal for the first time ever.

Enter Noeline Taurua, who in 11 months has transformed a team that had become a joke in New Zealand sport to world-beaters.

New Zealand had lost three finals to Australia since their last triumph 16 years ago and also lost all but one of the games against them since Taurua took over. The Fern’s 52-51 win then was something of a miracle to say the least, although they had narrowly beaten Australia at this tournament.

Taurua’s contract is now expired and the number one priority for Netball New Zealand is to get her to sign a new one. In the meantime, she will head to Australia, where she will attempt to win a third title in a row with the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

The Ferns’ win again showed how things can change dramatically in the world of sport in a matter of days. A week ago the country was in mourning after the Black Caps’ loss to England in the Cricket World Cup final.

This morning, the world had turned full circle for sport fans. This uncertainty is one of the things that makes sport so appealing.

The Ferns’ win also overshadowed a somewhat shaky first win of the season for the All Blacks, who narrowly held off Argentina 20-16.

All this came as New Zealand marked two significant anniversaries. It is 50 years since the moon landing (yes, doubters, we do believe it really happened) and 100 years since the birth of Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the greatest New Zealanders.

We believe Sir Ed would have been happy for the Ferns to take the limelight.