SPORTS

Tests For Fijian Pearls

The Fijian Pearls will play the Silver Ferns, Singapore and Samoa building up to the 2019 Netball World Cup on July 12-21 in England. Head Coach Vicki Wilson confirmed the
21 Dec 2018 10:00
Tests For Fijian Pearls
Fijian Pearls team at the 2015 Netball World Cup in Australia.Photo: Zimbio

The Fijian Pearls will play the Silver Ferns, Singapore and Samoa building up to the 2019 Netball World Cup on July 12-21 in England.

Head Coach Vicki Wilson confirmed the test schedules yesterday.

“We are looking forward to 2019 as it is a World Cup year,”Wilson said.

“Prior to World Cup in July, we will play Singapore, New Zealand and Samoa.

The World Cup is held every four years and it is a pinnacle event for the sport.

“We are looking forward to challenging ourselves to be better in every facet of the game and improving our competitiveness against the top 10 countries in the world,” she added.

Fiji is grouped in group  C alongside Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Jamaica, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.

Defending champions Australia, who are seeking a 12th title, have been drawn to play Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in Group A.

New Zealand, runners-up to Australia in 2015, will get the chance to avenge their shock defeat to Malawi at the Commonwealth Games in April as they have been placed in Group B along with Barbados. Host side England will face Uganda and Samoa and Scotland in Group D.

The top three teams in each group advance to a second group stage. The top two teams in the two groups of six in that second phase will then face off in the semi-finals.

Fiji currently sits in 14th place in the ranking with 83 points, Australia tops the table with 211 points, New Zealand is second with 173 points and Jamaica third with 172 points.

“2018 was exciting and challenging for the Pearls.  Playing in the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast and being part of Team Fiji was a highlight.

“We faced many challenges with injuries and non availability of some of our most experienced campaigners as well as now playing against professional netball players,” Wilson added.

England Roses Win 2 Awards

London: England’s gold medal-winning netballers have capped a memorable year with two awards at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show.

The Roses were crowned Team of the Year after their historic Commonwealth Games triumph before also being awarded Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year.

Helen Housby scored in the final second to give England a 52-51 victoryover favourites Australia at April’s Games.

England topped the poll ahead of four other shortlisted moments:

Captain Ama Agbeze said: “It has been a very long journey. It’s taken years and years and we’ve never won a gold medal in any event.

Head coach Tracey Neville added: “The Roses made every netballer’s dream come true.

“We had something like 130,000 people connect with our sport, we’re so happy.”

This was the first time since netball was introduced at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 that the final was not a contest between Australia and New Zealand.

England had only beaten Australia five times before the final – and not since 2013, and never at a major tournament.

Head coach Tracey Neville called the win a “dream come true”, while Housby said it was the “best day of my life”.

England will look to build on their success as Commonwealth champions when they host the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July.

Edited  by Osea Bola

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