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Silver Ferns win Netball World Cup after brilliant final against Australia


The Silver Ferns have held on to beat Australia for a historic World Cup title in Liverpool this morning.

The Silver Ferns built up an impressive four-goal lead after the first three quarters but Australia refused to go down quietly, clawing the match back to within one goal in the final 15 minutes.

But some stellar shooting from Ameliaranne Ekenasio matched by presuring defence from the back trio saw the side hold on for a 52-51 win.

Ekenasio shot an impressive 24-from-26 (92%) from the field in the match and partner Maria Folau, after a rough opening quarter, found her form from range. Folau finished the match 28-from-35.

Gina Crampton and Laura Langman found holes in the Australian defence to find their shooters, with Crampton earning 16 assists and her captain adding 20 of her own.

At the other end, Casey Kopua ended her wonderful career on a high, disrupting the Australian attack throughout the contest and forcing two turnovers throughout the match.

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Katrina Rore and Jane Watson were just as effective, taking three more intercepts between them as well.

A speechless Noeline Taurua was brimming with pride after coaching her side to their first title since 2003.

"I don't know what to say," she said moments after the final whistle.

"Every day was going to be a challenge for us. To come out here and do this is massive for the Silver Fern, for Netball New Zealand and our general community back home."

The result completes a fairytale comeback for the side who signed Taurua after last year's horror Commonwealth Games campaign where the Ferns failed to earn a medal.

Rore, who was the captain at the 2018 Games, said moments after the match Taurua was key factor in today's result.

"Noels, and having Laura and Casey back, those ones that been around for a really long time - the one thing that was missing from the mantle piece is back."

In the bronze medal match, England bounced back from their loss to the Kiwis yesterday to claim third with a 58-42 win over South Africa.