Kopua, McCaw combine for Kiwi causes
On the surface, cross-overs between netball and rugby are few and far between.
But Silver Ferns skipper Casey Kopua and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw found plenty in common when they met briefly at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Friday.
The All Blacks, in town for the first Bledisloe Cup match, are staying just across the road from the Silver Ferns as they begin their netball World Cup campaign.
The two captains exchanged gifts and spoke briefly about what motivates them ahead of their respective World Cups.
At 1.88m tall, Kopua tops McCaw by a centimetre but the inspirational loose forward holds the advantage in terms of Tests played.
Kopua, who made her debut in 2005, will play her 91st Test against Barbados on Friday while McCaw – whose career began in 2001 – will equal Brian O’Driscoll’s world record on Saturday with his 141st Test.
The defending world champion All Blacks dominate rugby the same way Australia has the upper hand in netball, but McCaw said that was something which could change in a heartbeat.
“The big thing is, no matter who’s been winning previously, both teams in rugby and I think it’s the same in netball, are capable of winning,” he said.
“It comes down being able to nail it on the day. If you’re just off a little bit, they’re capable of knocking you over – if you don’t get it quite right, you end up second.
“If you go in there believing you can win, that’s the big thing and that’s what makes trans-Tasman games so interesting and exciting.”
Kopua said the Silver Ferns, looking to win their first World Cup since 2003, would draw inspiration from McCaw’s All Blacks.
“It’s all about making the most of your opportunities, because obviously you can’t do it forever.”