Mission accomplished for Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua, as her new-look side won the inaugural netball Nations Cup tournament in London on Monday (NZ time).
The Ferns overcame a strong challenge from Jamaica in the final, eventually winning 67-56 in front of a sell-out crowd at Copper Box Arena.
Heading into the tournament, much was made of Taurua's side, which was missing 562 test caps' worth of experience, with the self-titled 'Fossils' core of Laura Langman and defender Katrina Rore both taking a break, and shooter Maria Folau and defender Casey Kopua retired since last year's World Cup triumph.
But the young Ferns stood up in the key moments, with the likes of shooter Maia Wilson, centre Kimiora Poi, winger Whitney Souness and defender Karan Burger all impressing during the tournament.
In the final, New Zealand struggled at times, but Taurua was pleased with how her young side pulled away in the second half, after trailing midway through the second quarter.
"It does [feel like a news era]," said Taurua. "We got a bit of the yips in the first half, but the learnings we'll get out of things will be valuable for us.
"I'm happy how they were able to fight back and keep things simple. It sets up things nicely and a good starting point for 2020."
Taurau was also pleased with new captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio, who led the Silver Ferns in Langman's absence.
"When it got tight out there, she took the load, put the pressure shots up and did the simple things well. She's got everything humming."
Taurau added that she'd given all players homework and things to improve on during the ANZ Premiership season, which starts on March 15.
The Ferns are not back in action until October, when they face the Australian Diamonds in the Constellation Cup, which Taurua is desperate to win.