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The Silver Ferns. Photo/www.silverferns.co.nz

Silver Ferns, Taurua scoop major honours at Halberg Awards

It's been a triumphant night for the Silver Ferns and their coach Dame Noeline Taurua at the 57th edition of the Halberg Awards in Auckland.

The Silver Ferns capped off their night by winning the supreme award which was presented by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

"It's been a long time between drinks since 2003 [when they last won]," Taurua said.

She added, while it was a humbling honour, it would also be a time for the Ferns to celebrate.

Taurua also won the Coach of the Year award - recognising her achievement of transforming an under-performing side into world champions.

Taurua said the Ferns had a great year in 2019, culminating in the fourth-ranked side beating the defending champions, Australia, by a single goal in the final of the World Cup in Manchester in July.

She also won the Leadership Award for the work she did in the 11 months leading up to the world champs. She said she had been lucky to come under the tutelage of many amazing women, including her mother.

She acknowledged the players, support staff and Netball New Zealand. "We do what we do because we love our sport ... we love to see the flag raised in other countries and we do it with such pride."

Taurua also said she had enjoyed her three years coaching in Australia "learning the ways of the Jedi" who had been fancied to defend their title again in 2019.

The Silver Ferns won Team of the Year with captain Laura Langman praising Taurua's "phenomenal leadership".

"What I take away from last year ...when we're down and out that's when we're at our most dangerous," Langman said.

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Israel Adesanya won the Sportsman of the Year title after claiming the UFC middleweight world title.

He dedicated his win to all the combat athletes who had preceded him and also the younger generation. In a rousing speech, he said there was too much of a tall poppy syndrome within New Zealand sport and people needed to "pump up" sportspeople performing at the highest level.

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Israel Adesanya, right, with his coach, Eugene Bareman, who was a finalist for Coach of the Year. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Canoe sprint star Lisa Carrington won the Sportwoman of the Year category for the fourth straight year.

Carrington won two world titles last year and beat Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman, motocross world champion Courtney Duncan and snowboard world champion Zoi Sadowski-Synott.

She didn't attend the event because she is preparing to race in the nationals.

Swimmer Sophie Pascoe, a six-time Halberg winner, won the Para athlete or team category. Pascoe was also absent, competing overseas as she prepares for the Paralympics in Japan later this year.

Pascoe won four gold medals at last year's Para Swimming World Championships.

Alpine ski racer Alice Robinson,18, won the Emerging Talent award after her victory in the giant slalom in Solden, Austria, last year. It marked New Zealand's first World Cup win since Claudia Riegler in 1997.

Golfer Michael Campbell, shot putter Tom Walsh and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson share a moment at the Halberg Awards at Spark Arena in Auckland. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Yvonne Willering, who has been closely involved with netball for 50 years as a player, umpire, coach and international coaching adviser.

Former All Black, Māori All Black and Northland representative Sid Going was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. Going, known as Super Sid in his playing days, played 86 matches including 29 Tests for the All Blacks.

He said he was deeply honoured and paid a special tribute to his wife who milked the cows on the family farm while he was away on tour.

Black Caps cricketers Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner, Martin Guptill, Ajaz Patel and Will Sommerville pose before the event gets under way at the Spark Arena in Auckland. The Black Caps are finalists in the Team of the Year category. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

This article was first published on Radio NZ.