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NZ women win world canoe polo champs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/09/2016

The New Zealand women's canoe polo team have paddled to the summit of their sport.

The Paddle Ferns beat Germany 3-2 in the final of the world championships in Italy, making history in a sport which rarely makes a splash in the mainstream.

Goals to Jordan Housiaux, Emma Hicks and Jordan Pearse were enough to topple the Germans, who trailed 2-0 at halftime and scored two late consolation goals in the decider in Syracuse, Sicily.

It completed an unbeaten week for the Kiwi women, who won three out of four pool games and drew the other against Switzerland.

They beat France 4-2 in the semi-finals before ending the unbeaten run of the Germans, who had won five of the previous eight world titles.

The tournament was a triumph for New Zealand, with the men's team - the Paddle Blacks - placing fifth while both under-21 teams finished in the top six.

Canoe polo is played by two teams of five in a small "pitch" with games lasting 20 minutes. The ball can be controlled by hand or paddle, with the aim to score into a goal which is suspended above the water at each end.

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