World Cup final hero upstaged in interview
Silver Fern veteran Casey Kopua was the world champion star until her three-year-old daughter Maia stole the show.
The post-final interview turned into a cute never-to-forget moment between mother and daughter.
As Kopua answered questions on Sky Sports following the thrilling one goal victory over Australia in Liverpool, Maia began licking her mum's neck and shoulder.
"Do you like the taste of sweat?" the BBC interviewer asked Maia, while her mum explained that she liked the saltiness.
KOPUA’S DAUGHTER LICKING HER DURING THE INTERVIEW OMG 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂— Nia Jones (@niajones92) July 21, 2019
Kopua said: "It's totally all worth it," before her daughter took a liking to the sweat droplets all over her neck and shoulders.
"When you've got the belief like that, there's nothing that can stop you. I love my team and my support so much, and I'm so glad that I came back."
Prompted to help celebrate, the toddler raised an arm in triumph and managed an impressive wave.
It would have seemed impossible for somebody to upstage Casey Kopua before her daughter's cheeky antics.
The 34-year-old was the story of New Zealand's campaign.
Having come out of retirement to help the Silver Ferns get back on track after a nightmare Commonwealth Games campaign last year, Kopua announced before the tournament that the 2019 World Cup would be her final tournament.
In her 112th and final appearance for New Zealand, Kopua stood tall for the Kiwis and was named most-valuable-player of the final.
"This is the biggest highlight of my life," Kopua told the Newshub Radio.
"To share it with these 12 girls is amazing and I'm so happy and looking forward to celebrating because this moment will never happen again.
"We planned this from August last year and for it to come to the front and to feel so good about it is unreal.
"I don't regret it. I've loved being apart of all the journeys, and I look forward to the next one."
It was her first ever World Cup win and New Zealand's first in 16 years.
New Zealand capped a remarkable revival after failing to medal at the Commonwealth Games last year for the first time. Former international Noeline Taurua took over as coach in August and turned around the team's belief and confidence. Her contract ended with the stunning triumph.
"What will be will be," she said.
She paid tribute to the "fossils," the veterans Maria Folau, captain and record cap-holder Laura Langman, the retiring Kopua, and Katrina Rore.
Folau led the scoring charts for the Silver Ferns with 28 but it was the uncanny accuracy of teammate Ameliaranne Ekenasio that began to make the difference as her team started to turn on the style.
Kopua's brilliance stifled the inevitable Australia comeback and the Silver Ferns were able to hold onto the ball and count down the final seconds amid a fittingly raucous atmosphere in Liverpool.
There was plenty of praise on social media for the Silver Ferns with the All Blacks managing to catch the ending after arriving from Argentina this morning.
There was also plenty of love and support from Kiwi cricket and football stars.
What a champion! Glad she gets to leave a winner. pic.twitter.com/COTipwmcye— Lima Sopoaga (@LimaSopoaga) July 21, 2019
WHAT. https://t.co/e0QbvoiNZI 🔥🙌🏽🏆— Niall Williams (@nizzlewilliams) July 21, 2019
So proud to be a kiwi, so much about this journey to talk about!
Coach, players, comebacks, roles,step ups...
Big moments are won by big players but big teams create the opportunity 🔥🖤🙌🏽🌿🥝🏆 #WorldChampions https://t.co/Y7zXX87GsR
Least the netball wasn't a tie...— Iain O'Brien (@iainobrien) July 21, 2019
The reaction was a little bit different on the other side of the ditch.
Aussie netball legend Liz Ellis said the Diamonds' players' hearts would be "breaking".
So proud of our @AussieDiamonds - they are our team of the future and will continue to grow into the stars they are. Congrats to @SilverFernsNZ who had a ripper tournament and played better on the day. Netball - you are the winner. What an epic world cup its been #ThisIsNetball— Sharni Layton (@Sharni_Layton) July 21, 2019
- with AP