- Fiji News
- Fiji Sports
By ANASILINI RATUVA
Fiji walloped Papua New Guinea 70-29 in the feature match of the 2012 LICI Pacific Netball Series at the Vodafone Arena last night.
“We reminded the girls from the start and they know the win is very important to them and to the people of Fiji,” Fiji netball coach Unaisi Rokoura said.
“We trained to keep the title and this is a good start to our campaign. Samoa is next and we need to up the intensity.
“We are determined that no one will win it from us. We are confident that we will defend the series again for another year.”
Having home advantage, the Fijians displayed brilliant performance with defenders Mere Rabuka Qovu and Matila Waqanidrola played their best limiting the Pepes from scoring early. Fiji led 20-7 in the first quarter.
The Pepes with their young players played well in their attacking area but could not penetrate the wall of Fijian defence.
Hundreds of Fijian and Papua New Guinea supporters gathered up at the Vodafone Arena to show their support.
The Pepes committed a lot of errors because of the mounting pressure provided by the Fijians. They were penalised for stepping, mishandling, lack of communication between the mid- court players and shooters cost them to trail 16-37 at halftime.
Rokoura made changes in the third quarter with Unaisi Rauluni replacing Maria Lutua and Lusi Robanakadavu replaced Luse Kotobalavu.
For the PNG side, young Rayleen Andrew came in at goal attack but Fiji build on a commanding 53-23 lead.
Rokoura made more changes in the last quarter with young reps Taufa Taga, Reijieli Daurewa and Nina Cirikisuva. And they lifted the intensity to another level with Rauluni scoring 100 per cent in her goal shooting. Fulltime: Fiji 70 – PNG 29
Meanwhile, PNG coach Mona Lisa said they did not play as expected, but they would bounce back against Cook Islands today.
“The game was tough for us. We did not play the way we wanted, but that is done now. Fiji was tough. We will have to go back to the hotel and analyse our performance.
“Our game against Cook Islands will not be easy, but we are confident of striking back,” Mona Lisa said.
TODAY: 3.15pm Fiji-Under-21; 5.15pm Fiji-Samoa;
7.15pm PNG-Cook Islands