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Unranked Tonga Scare Pearls

Unranked Tonga Scare Pearls
Fijian Pearls defender Merelita Waqanidrola (right) is part of the team that took on Tonga in Papakura, New Zealand on April 18, 2018 .Photo: Zimbio
April 20
11:00 2018

Following their disappointing finish at the 2018 Commonwealth Games the Fijian Pearls regrouped in their first game of the Oceania qualifiers to beat Tonga 58-46 in Papakura, New Zealand on Wednesday night.

Earlier on Tuesday, Samoa beat Papua New Guinea 56-41 at High Wire Trust venue. The Pearls and the Samoans are trying hard stake their claim on one of the two quali­fying places for next year’s World Netball Championship in Liverpool, England.

The Pearls are the highest ranked of the five teams involved. The Vicki Wilson- coached side are ranked 12th in the overall world rankings and are favorite to win in New Zealand.

The Tongans are the only side in the com­petition without an International Netball Federation world ranking, but they still pushed the top-ranked side all the way.

The Pearls led by three after the first quar­ter, however, Tonga won the second quarter 16-14 which saw Fiji holding a 27-26 lead at halftime.

During the second half Fiji regained con­trol of the game to establish a 12-goal mar­gin.

The top two teams from the Oceania qualifi­ers will secure their place at next year’s WNC.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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