New Zealand have clinched back-to-back Netball World Youth Cup titles, with the under-21 side edging out Australia in this morning's final in Gabarone, Botswana.
The 60-57 win was built on a masterful performance by the team's bookends, defender Kelly Jury and goal shoot Maia Wilson - both of whom have already made their international debut at senior level for the Silver Ferns.
It was a historic win for the New Zealand team, who claimed back-to-back titles for the first time, defending the crown Janine Southby's side won in Scotland in 2013. New Zealand have now won three of the last four editions of the World Youth Cup, dating back to 2005.
Jury was named player of the match after a dominant performance in the defensive circle, with her long reach causing the Australian shooting pairing of Sasha Glasgow and Kiera Austin problems all match. Glasgow was replaced mid-way through the third spell by 1.97m shooter Emma Ryde, but the change-up did not disrupt the rhythm of the New Zealand side, who led by six goals for most of the final spell.
Australia had the better of New Zealand for much of the first half, leading 17-14 at the quartertime after a slick start to the match. By halftime New Zealand were beginning to find their feet, cutting Australia's lead back to just one goal after the introduction of Kimiora Poi at centre five minutes into the second spell brought some much-needed punch into the attack.
New Zealand coach Kiri Wills made a further change at halftime, replacing 16-year-old goal attack Tiana Metuarau with another gun shooter, the Magic's Monica Falkner, in what has been a regular change-up throughout the tournament.
With Falkner more of a long-range threat, she helped open up the shooting circle for Wilson, who was well positioned for the offload.
Impressive young midcourter Mila Reuelu-Buchanan also came into the game more at second half, after being bogged down early on by the close attention of former Magic defender Jamie-Lee Price, who switched allegiances to Australia last year.
While New Zealand were finding their rhythm on attack the Australian shooting line began to falter, as the pressure being applied by Jury all game began to take its toll and the Kiwi side stalked out to a 45-41 lead at the final turn.
Netball World Youth Cup final
New Zealand 60
(14-17, 27-28, 45-41)