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Ian Harkin
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1979 – 5TH WORLD TOURNAMENT (PORT OF SPAIN, TRIN)

The 5th World Tournament was held in Port of Spain, and the home team was in with a real shot, having finished a creditable fourth in Auckland. Despite how incredibly close the competition came to a three-way tie in 1975, no change was made to the competition format here.

And so of course it happened. Australia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago all finished the round robin tournament with exactly the same number of competition points, having shared the results when they played each other. With no provision in the rules for any way of separating teams, we were left with a rather embarrassing and unsatisfactory result; three joint tournament winners.

Trinidad and Tobago had the chance to win the competition outright by defeating New Zealand on the final day, but the Kiwis were too strong and won the game 33-27, much to the disappointment of local fans.

Nevertheless, Trinidad and Tobago still go down in the record book as winners, one of only three countries to ever win a netball world cup. It was a great way to go out as a player for their legendary shooter Jean Pierre, who played in all of the first five world tournaments and then went on to coach her country in the next two as well.

This was the last world cup for legendary Australian goal attack Marg Caldow, who captained the side here and also in 1975. She was a three time world cup winner as she was also a part of the 1963 side. Caldow is credited with pioneering the high release shooting style that is used by most shooters today.

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From Netball Australia