Netball | SPORTS

Fijiana Win Inspires Pearls

The success of the Rooster Chicken Fijiana XVs rugby side in hoisting the Oceania Women’s Championship title has inspired the Fijian Pearls to do the same in the Vodafone Oceania Netball World Cup Qualifiers that gets underway this afternoon at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.
19 Jul 2022 15:15
Fijiana Win Inspires Pearls
From left: Fijian Pearls captain Alisi Naqiri with her Papua New Guinea Pepes counterpart Kiala Owens at the Vodafone Arena in Suva on July 18, 2022. They play today at 5.30pm in the opening round of the Vodafone Oceania Netball World Cup Qualifiers. Photo: Vodafone Fiji

The success of the Rooster Chicken Fijiana XVs rugby side in hoisting the Oceania Women’s Championship title has inspired the Fijian Pearls to do the same in the Vodafone Oceania Net­ball World Cup Qualifiers that gets underway this afternoon at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

The Unaisi Rokoura-coached Pearls is eyeing for a spot in next year’s Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

There are two spots available from the qualifiers. The other participat­ing teams are Tonga Tala, Samoa, Papua New Guinea (PNG) Pepes and Cook Islands.

The Pearls opening match is at 5.30pm when they take on PNG Pepes while competition favourites Tonga Tala faces Samoa at 7.30pm.

Speaking to SUNsports, Pearls captain Alisi Naqiri said they are ready for the Pepes.

“The Fijiana’s (rugby) win on Sun­day really boosted us to play well so we are going to play for our families and country,” she said.

“We know the fans will expect a win from us nothing less or more. So there is an understanding among the players that we should work harder in this game.

“We have been preparing well for this competition especially for the first game.”

Naqiri said the squad is a mixture of experienced and young players.

“For us our biggest advantage is that we’re playing at home and an opportunity to play in front of your friends and families.

“It does add pressure and excite­ment to the players. We are going to take one game at a time and trust our process to get us through.”

PNG Pepe’s captain Kiala Owen said playing the Pearls in their opening game would be tough.

“We are honoured to be here in Fiji so we are looking forward to the competition,” she said.

“We hope to improve in our stand­ings during these test matches.

“We have seven debutants in the team so they are very new and it’s good that they are here to experi­ence it all.

“It’s going to be tough playing against Fiji. We have to be mentally and physically tuned for this game. We hope to display good netball.”

Owen said two members of their squad are overseas-based while the rest of players are playing in their local competition.

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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