Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua loved Israel Adesanya’s show-stealing Halbergs acceptance speech, but she went further than his attack on the tall poppy syndrome by saying Kiwis could benefit from adopting an Australian-style swag.
Taurua, who won Coach of the Year at last night’s awards, told Breakfast this morning she loved Adesanya’s confidence.
While accepting the Sportsman of the Year award, Adesanya said he hated the way Kiwis cut down those that are successful.
“We have this culture of tall poppy syndrome and it’s messed up, coming up in this country I’ve seen it so many times, when you see one of us rising, you want to tear him down because you feel inadequate,” he said.
"If you see one of us shining… pump them up, embrace them," he said, to great applause.
"If they win, we win. If I win, you win. Understand that."
Taurua said a three-year stint in Australia where she coached the Sunshine Coast Lightning to back-to-back premierships had put the Kiwi penchant for humbling champions into perspective.
“I love what he said, first and foremost to have the confidence, to shake the tree a wee bit,” she said.
“We are definitely humble, and I also think that’s part of our DNA and what makes us so good amongst other countries.”
One thing she loved about Australians was their confidence, regardless of the situation.
“I love the thing he said about the tall poppy syndrome, I have just come back from Australia and if there’s one thing I learnt over there is their confidence and support for their athletes, or anything that’s happening in their country, through thick and thin they’ll stay true.”
“I love about them, I love their confidence, that swag they do have irrelevant of where they are in the pecking order, that’s something that I think we can bring into our psyche.”
“It’s something we’ve been talking about the Silver Ferns, we remain humble, we remain grateful, but we slaughter them when we’re out there on the netball court, we put our foot down.”
Taurua said the Silver Ferns’ 11-month turnaround from the Commonwealth Games calamity to Netball World Cup winners had come after a change to a performance culture.
“It’s not about having a BBQ and liking each other, it’s about setting the standards and knowing exactly what that is and being transparent right across the board.”
“It was just a few changes and pieces as well and manoeuvring them as well.”