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NZ men's team proud to be part of 'Noeline's big plan' in Silver Ferns' build up to World Cup win

The New Zealand men's netball team may have won their series against the Silver Ferns before the World Cup, but there was something more special for them that came away from the clashes.

"Our whole team came off feeling really confident that they were going to do well," NZ Men's wing attack Junior Manapori told 1 NEWS.

"We felt that we prepared them - even though we won the series. For us it was about making sure that we gave them the best possible preparation for the World Cup and I think we did our job."

Manapori and the men's team played the Silver Ferns twice before they departed for Liverpool, winning the first contest 54-50 and the second 66-54.

Their strength, size and speed proved to be a constant challenge for the Silver Ferns as the team was made to work at the tempo of the men's side constantly throughout the two matches.

While the men's side has played the Silver Ferns in the past, it was a momentous occasion for the team as it was the first time the games have been televised, giving Manapori and teammates a chance to shine.

But he said they were just proud to help the Silver Ferns and coach Noeline Taurua.

"I'd like to think we were one piece of the puzzle in Noeline's big plan," he said.

"For us to be able to have given the Silver Ferns an opportunity and that ability to play against the men, to help test their combinations, have a look at their structures and processes and just to see what we could do to offer and support them as part of their preparation."

The NZ Men's team was the final opponent the Silver Ferns faced before their historic World Cup campaign which ultimately finished up with a 52-51 win against Australia yesterday to win their first title in 16 years.

Manapori said the result will help the entire netball community in New Zealand.

"On behalf of men's netball, we'd just like to congratulate the Silver Ferns."

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Junior Manapori said the men's team knew the Ferns would do well after their two-game series. Source: 1 NEWS


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