SOL23: Netball heats up on day two

Norfolk Island secured a tight win over Solomon Islands. Photos: Paul Fefera, Pacific Games News Service.

Day two of the Sol2023 Pacific Games netball tournament yet again saw impressive performances from top seeded teams such as Tonga, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji.

Pool A leaders and tournament favorites, Tonga, secured their third straight victory of the Games – thrashing Vanuatu with an overwhelming 106-11 score line.

The victory puts Tonga in pole position to progress to the next phase of the competition and solidifies their stand at the top of Pool A.

Reigning Pacific Games champions, Cook Islands, also continued their winning run with a 72-18 victory over Niue in their opening match today. The ladies in green however fell short in their second match, dropping points against a determined PNG, losing 67-37.

Despite dominating in the first quarter, Cook Islands were overpowered for the rest of the match by an impressive PNG side who, before coming to Honiara had competed and reached the finals of the Singapore Mirxes Nations Cup netball series. After losing to Tonga yesterday, PNG regrouped to earn this hard-fought victory.

Meanwhile in Pool B, Fiji continued its impressive run of form overpowering Samoa 62-40 and securing its second win of the tournament.

In Pool B’s other match, Norfolk Island secured its first victory of the Games courtesy of a 40-34 well earned win over hosts, Solomon Islands.

Despite the hosts getting off to a promising start, Norfolk Island maintained their composure and agility to come out victors in the end.

Speaking to the Pacific Games News Service, Norfolk team captain, Emily Ryves said that her team’s composure and determination earned them the victory. She added they were happy to have come out victors and avenge their loss to the hosts four years ago.

“This is our second game here and we are so lucky to get the win. It was a hardcore battle against a very good Solomon Islands side.  Four years ago in Samoa, Solomon Islands defeated us so it is indeed good to get the win today.”

The netball action continues on Wednesday at Friendship Hall.

By Roselyn Toliliu and Leilanie Kama, Pacific Games News Service