Pacific netball teams will be tested in Australian tournament

Action from the Tonga (red) and Papua New Guinea game in Suva Photo: Netball Fiji

Netball Australia has confirmed its hosting of the Pacific-Aus Sport Netball Series in Queensland.

Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga will compete in the tournament, along with a national Australian development team and the University of Sunshine Coast netball team.

The tournament will be held at the university.

Fiji coach Unaisi Rokoura says her team has been in preparation over the last two weeks for the competition.

“This past two weeks have been amazing performance from the individual players that took part, we had specialist camp and this week is putting everything on the court in terms of game situation. It’s been an amazing last two weeks.

“Today is the final day of preparation and next week, Fiji Netball will be releasing the names of the final 15.”

The inaugural competition ran earlier this year and organisers said it was a huge success in showcasing the skills, talents and athleticism of the Pacific netballers.

It particularly helped the Tongan Tala which then won the Oceania Qualifying Tournament in Fiji to qualify for the World Cup for the first time.

Head coach of the Tala, Jaqua Pori-Makea-Simpson, was eager to get more debutants on the court.

“The October Series is another chance to debut players and try various combinations ahead of the 2023 World Cup. It is the perfect event for us to assess some of our processes, gather more player data and understand areas for improvement in preparation for next year,” she said.

“This is an opportunity for us to be tested against an unknown opposition with a different style of play and ability.”

The tournament serves as a key warm-up for Fiji and Tonga, who have qualified for the Netball World Cup next year.

Coaches for both Fiji and Tonga have announced their intentions to play debutants and try out new combinations.

Source: RNZ