Dame Lois' plan for a good night's sleep scuttled

Dame Lois Muir was a happy viewer yesterday as the Silver Ferns won the World Cup. PHOTO: PETER...
Dame Lois Muir was a happy viewer yesterday as the Silver Ferns won the World Cup. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Dame Lois Muir had a plan yesterday, and initially it did not involve getting up in the early hours.

But modern technology and seven women across the other side of the world scuttled her sleep.

The former player, vice-captain, coach, president, board member - right, she has done everything one can do in netball - was beaming yesterday as her beloved Silver Ferns won their first World Cup for 16 years.

Muir said it was a great win for the team and she had high praise for coach Noeline Taurua.

"People started texting me and contacting me during the game. I wasn't going to get up until later but I got up. I'm lucky though as I've got a TV in my room,'' she said.

"I knew it was going to be tight but I always had faith in them.''

"It was more than just one moment. The greater the challenge ... the greater the reward. They had to come from adversity but I knew they would get on the dais.''

She said the key to the victory was Australia got behind, which was new to the defending champion. New Zealand stayed in control in the key moments and was cool when the pressure came on.

She had watched the game as a coach, but could not help that - "that is the way I am made''.

Though she did not mind watching, she was more used to being courtside at World Championships.

The 84-year-old played in the first World Championships in 1963, missed the next two tournaments as she was having children, and then coached in the next four. She shared one title in 1979, finishing top along with Australia and Trinidad & Tobago, and then won it for New Zealand alone in 1987 in Glasgow. Since then she had led travel groups to the tournaments. In fact, this is the first one she has missed since giving up as the national coach.

Muir said Taurua had kept faith with her team and that had worked in the final. She had got them superbly fit and used them all well during the tournament. Other players could have been picked for New Zealand, but Taurua had put an an emphasis on fitness, which worked.

Australia had rested players for the semifinal, and Muir said that may have come back to hurt them.

Much had been made of the veteran players, Casey Kopua, Maria Folau and Laura Langman, and she felt they had done a great job.

"But seven people play the game.''

Muir said the Silver Ferns had a great build-up to the tournament with the games in New Zealand, including matches against the national men's team.

She was hoping the win would have a good impact on the sport, encourage more young girls and boys to play the game and people to be coaches.


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