Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tonga and Fiji power-up at the Netball World Cup in this week’s sports wrap

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

NETBALL: Pacific teams taking it step by step at the Netball World Cup

Tonga and Fiji have advanced onto the first stage of elimination at the Netball World Cup. The only Pacific teams in the competition and both in pool A, squared off against each other in their opening matches. Tonga Tala came away with a 56-51 win.

After a successful start, Tonga were thumped by heavyweights Australia but bounced back with a victory over Zimbabwe. Fiji on the other hand were also outclassed by Australia but like Tonga hit back with a win over Zimbabwe.

Their pool performances elevated them to the next stages of qualifications with Tonga facing England, Scotland and Malawi. After losing to England, Tonga bounced back to an impressive 55-47 win over Scotland. 

Fiji lost its first two matches of the elimination stages and are hoping to defeat Scotland to end their tournament on a high.

Football Fern Hannah Wilkinson under pressure from some of the Norway players. Photo: Brett Phibbs / www.photosport.nz

SOCCER: An inspirational tournament to remember for the Football Ferns.

After an incredible start in their World Cup campaign with a win over Norway, the Football Ferns have bowed out of the remainder of the competition by a small margin.

With their win to Norway and the sudden loss to Philippines the Ferns had to secure a win over powerhouse Switzerland in order to progress through to the playoffs.

After some great opening plays and close goal results, the ferns had to succumb to a draw which was enough for the Switz to advance through. 

Featuring Samoan midfielder Malia Steinmetz (L) and Fijian forward Grace Jale (middle). Photo: NZ Herald.

Samoan midfielder Malia Steinmetz and Fijian forward Grace Jale were both instrumental in the match, providing some good opportunities for the team across the park.

Jale who came off the bench in the second showed her strength through the front using her height to her advantage. Steinmetz was equally as good too with an incredible stat in forced turnovers.

Despite the loss, the ferns have a lot to be proud of through the impact they have made across the whole nation. 

“I can’t ask any more of the players. There’s a lot of tears out there but they should be so proud,” New Zealand co-captain Ali Riley said. “We fought really hard… There’s such disappointment but I want everyone to be proud of what we’ve achieved.

“I really think that we’ve inspired the country. I hope that little girls across New Zealand and the world now will start playing sports and feel like they can achieve whatever they put their mind to and just dream bigger”.

Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup, All Blacks v Wallabies, Ardie Savea, Rob Valetini. Photo: Stuff NZ.

RUGBY: All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup and last round of Pacific Nations Cup heats up.

The All Blacks have defended the Bledisloe Cup yet again with an all rounder performance against the Wallabies.

In front of a packed out crowd at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Grounds), the visitors were too good for Eddie Jones and the Wallabies with a final score of 38-7.

Ardie Savea ran out as captain for the All Blacks running in a total of six tries against a hopeless Wallabies side also captained by fellow Samoan Allan Alaalatoa. The All Blacks showed their dominance through every aspect of the game. 

Loose forward Shannon Frizzell was yet again showing why he deserves the number 6 jersey for the World Cup with a try and countless line breaks and tackles.

Wallabies head into their fixture this week with more problems on their hands as Alaalatoa was taken off in the late stages of the first half for what is a suspected ruptured achilles. His replacement Taniela Tupou also didn’t last long in the match suffering a rib injury with only 10 minutes of game time. 

Still on rugby news, the Pacific Nations cup is heading into its final round with what is promised to be an exciting lineup of matches ahead. 

Photo: The Kiwi Lads – YouTube.

Manu Samoa made their long awaited return to Apia Park after a long four years of no tests at home. Samoa matched up Fiji in what was the clash of the two top teams of the table so far.

Despite having home advantage, a slow first half start by the home team became their worst enemy as Fiji put on 30 points. A second half comeback was revitalised but it was too little too late for Manu Samoa. 

Tonga will now travel to Samoa to face Manu in the last round of the Pacific Nations cup while Fiji travel to Japan for their last fixture too. Fiji will complete an undefeated run of the tournament if they are successful against Japan.

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