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The celebrations began even before the game. Celebrating women’s sport finally being given prime time coverage, the backing of the whole country, over a million viewers in little New Zealand, a packed stadium, a media star in Ruby Tui, a crowd full of families and especially young girls, whirling pois, happiness and a well-behaved crowd, and the knowledge that women’s sport was going to be the winner, regardless of the result.

It was tense, it was hard, and in the end, New Zealand’s Black Ferns just squeaked through. They won the World Cup on home ground. Their relief and their joy was infectious. Ruby led the crowd in a grateful waiata* and new stars were born.

* waiata = song


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