As the Silver Ferns prepare to take on the world's best next month at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, we take a look back on one of the more extraordinary campaigns in Netball New Zealand history.
It was a hot and humid afternoon in Port of Spain on August 25, 1979.
Rain from earlier in the day had saturated the synthetic surfaced courts of Trinidad and Tobago's outdoor netball stadium, leaving puddles organisers of the World Netball Championship scrambled to dry with squeegees.
Thousands of rowdy local netball fans filled the stadium grandstands as anticipation and tension ahead of the final game rose.
The New Zealand national netball team, led by then-head coach Dame Lois Muir and captain Lyn Gunson, were preparing to face hosts Trinidad and Tobago to close what had been a campaign full of extraordinary challenges.
Trinidad and Tobago were one win away from outright claiming the prestigious World Netball Championship title - which was to be decided by round-robin wins in the absence of a grand final and tiebreakers.
The hosts had already confidently racked eight straight wins and were tied with Australia for the title while New Zealand sat one point behind with seven.
They knew they would still be crowned joint world champions if they lost to New Zealand, but they didn't want to share the glory - and it became increasingly evident on court.
"Trinidad and Tobago were under a lot of pressure to win," Muir, who led the New Zealand side now known as the Silver Ferns until 1988, tells the Herald. "They were a little bit naughty, they did naughty things, they were pretty keen to win. It was little things like standing on players' feet, they were subtle.
"Even when it was our ball they would hold on to it, we had to pull it out of their hands. It was like the whole thing was about fighting for your rights and standing up for yourself."
New Zealand had narrowly lost 36-38 to rivals Australia three days before when legendary goal attack Margaret Forsyth was benched with a knee injury.
Fueled by the devastation of losing and hungry for one final victory, New Zealand set their sights on toppling the competition leaders.
Going up against the tournament favourites, however, was no easy feat.
And to make matters more difficult, New Zealand faced a relentlessly passionate Trinidad and Tobago home crowd – one which saw the need of police escorts for both the umpires and the Kiwi side.
"The whole crowd was against us, they booed like crazy," former New Zealand defender Yvonne Willering says. "That was probably one of the few times we had Australia actually cheering for us."
After a week of braving the lethally slippery courts, fending off swarms of moths drawn in by the floodlights and having water balloons thrown at them from the crowd, there wasn't much left the New Zealand team hadn't already learned to conquer.
Poised and determined to ensure it would be the skills of netball that won the game, Willering says they took everything in their stride.
"The game could've got way out of control," she says. "But it was our team unity that kept us all together.
"Sure the crowd booed like crazy, but that all added to the atmosphere to be fair. We never felt like we were in real danger because we had a lot of security around us but it was just insane how much their country was behind their team.
"I actually quite enjoyed that whole situation though. It was a tremendous atmosphere and totally different to what would happen nowadays."
Trinidad and Tobago's relentless tactics weren't enough to put off New Zealand in the end as the Kiwi's convincingly took the match 33-27, etching their names into the history books as world champions for the second time since the tournament's induction in 1962.
It was a three-way shared title, however, with Trinidad and Australia also each finishing up with eight wins from nine games.
There was no trophy at the time, nor medals up for grabs - but that didn't matter because, Willering explains, winning against all the odds was what became most important.
"We were so focused on that last game. Trinidad and Tobago were a good team and to beat them convincingly was just a tremendous buzz within itself so winning the title jointly was just a bonus," Willering says.
"It was more so the fact that we had to contend with a lot of different things and I thought we did that pretty well."
Adding that even though Kiwi netball fans at the time struggled to appreciate the joint result, Muir says sharing the title never once felt bittersweet.
"New Zealand public like success in sport and it's always tarnished when you're not an outright winner," Muir says. "But I think if they'd realised the challenges and the struggle to get the joint title, they would've appreciated it just as much.
"When you play a final like that, its sort of a relief. When someone wants to win beyond all else they do little things that they shouldn't do.
"It was at that stage that I said 'well, if the skills of netball don't win I don't know if I want to be involved in this game,' so in the end, winning it jointly didn't matter."
Muir says she believes the unique demands of the campaign were part of the reason four of the past seven Silver Ferns head coaches came from the 1979 team.
It's an astonishing statistic which Muir says is one of the most rewarding takings from her netball career both on and off the court.
"It's those players who have come out, stayed in the game and done something that has been most rewarding for me to see," she says.
"Every team is different and they bring so much with them. For me, winning World Championships is exciting but the most exciting thing in my life is seeing all those players I coached doing things in netball later.
"The work ethic, commitment, team unity, stickability and most importantly, the adaptability is what made this team stand out. This team accepted the challenges. That I think is what put this team above all others."
The Silver Ferns of today are just over two weeks away from what could be one of the national side's most important World Cup campaigns.
Although they won't face the same unusual challenges as the 1979 team did, the Ferns have arguably never had so much to prove.
Just over year after the Ferns' dreadful Commonwealth Games campaign, all eyes will be fixed on if and how the national side have managed to turn things around.
Muir says she holds hope for a commendable result but warns that fans shouldn't expect too much from the team with so much rebuilding yet to do.
"It is a work in progress. We're growing our younger players and I think it will take us a few years to get that base," she says.
"You've got to be going forward though. I don't mind so much losing so long as you lose it going forward.
"Commonwealth Games was a bit of a disaster but I think we're on the road to recovery and Noeline [Taurua] is the lady to do it."
Muir will join the players from her 1979 team this week in a special reunion during the Cadbury Netball Series thanks to the One Foundation.
The reunited side will watch the Silver Ferns take on the New Zealand Men's, a New Zealand All-Stars team and the Fiji Pearls.
The Netball World Cup tips off on July 12.