New Zealand win Netball World Cup after thriller against Australia

New Zealand players celebrate their victory against Australia in the World Cup final (Nigel French/PA Wire)
New Zealand players celebrate their victory against Australia in the World Cup final (Nigel French/PA Wire)

New Zealand have beaten Australia to win the Netball World in a thrilling final in Liverpool.

Having lost the last three finals to their Trans-Tasman rivals, The Silver ferns finally picked a gold medal following a 52-51 victory.

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Australia, looking to take the title for the twelfth time, started the brighter of the two teams but New Zealand recovered to end the first quarter level at 10-10.

The two sides were neck and neck for much of the second quarter until the ferns picked up some momentum to build a three-goal lead 28-25 just before the half.

New Zealand continued to take control in the second half, building up a seven goal advantage at one stage.

The Ferns managed to edge out their rivals to win a fifth World Cup. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Ferns managed to edge out their rivals to win a fifth World Cup. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Despite Australia stemming the flow, the Diamonds went into the final quarter four goals behind.

The World Champions weren’t about to surrender their crown without a fight and clawed their way back into game, reducing the deficit to just one at 45-44.

In a tense finale, The Ferns opened up a four-goal advantage once more only for Australia to chip away at the lead again.

As the clock wound down, there was no room for error and New Zealand knew they needed a final push if they were to break the cycle of final defeats.

The Ferns did manage to hang on, claiming their fourth world title and first since 2003.

Speaking to the BBC after the match New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua was proud of her team.

“It was a really weird feeling today - it was really calm,” Taurua said. “I was actually quite speechless.

“Every day was going to be a challenge for us. To do the final is massive for the Ferns, for the sport and the community at home.”

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