Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua opened up about the toll of Israel Folau's sacking had on her squad, with wife Maria an integral part of New Zealand's Netball World Cup victory.
As Israel Folau's public fallout with Rugby Australia continued after he launched a controversial GoFundMe page, Maria's silence was highlighted by Australian great Liz Ellis, before sponsors ANZ distanced themselves from the shooter's backing of her husband.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB, Taurua spoke about the Silver Ferns' ongoing support for Maria Folau behind the scenes in the build up to last month's Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
Management held a meeting early on in camp so teammates, including Folau, could share their opinions and while Taurua admits she wasn't sure how everyone would respond, the coach was impressed by what she saw.
"A lot was said but also the support and love for Maria and the understanding that she is a player, she's an athlete but also she's a wife and how difficult of a position that would be where you can't 100 per cent support your husband whether we agree with those issues or not," Taurua said.
"As it came out, it brought us closer together and showed as well that once we're all on the same page, nothing is going to break us in making sure our priority was getting out there and playing on court and doing everything proud for the World Cup."
The support Folau was more than rewarded for Taurua and the Silver Ferns, the shooter a key cog in the side as they claimed New Zealand's first Netball World Cup title since 2003, defeating arch rivals Australia in the final.