Tongan Tala qualify for netball World Cup finals for first time

The Tongan Tala after their fantastic effort in Suva Photo: Netball Fiji

Tonga have qualified for next year’s Netball World Cup in South Africa after their 70 goals to 43 victory over the Cook Islands in Suva.

It’s the first time Tonga have ever qualified for the global tournament.

Tonga had a slightly slower start than usual, leading 16-11 at the first break in comparison to the previous two days where they led by 24 and 12 at the first quarter breaks.

However, the team showed in the second quarter their star quality when they went on a goal scoring run, to ensure they led by 12 at half-time.

Tonga then went on to win the match by 27, thanks to a strong second-half display.

The Tala end the Oceania Qualifying competition unbeaten with four victories and top of the table.

Photo: Netball Fiji

Fiji takes big stride towards World Cup

In last night’s other match, Fiji had a narrow win over Samoa, succeeding by 45 goals to 43.

It was evident from the whistle that it was going to be an closely contested match, and Fiji came out ahead 26-21 at half-time.

In the third quarter Samoa got the scores level, at 31-31, but Fiji scored two quick-fire goals in the dying seconds to hold onto their lead going into the final quarter.

The score was still level – 40-40 – with just over three minutes to go.

Fiji were the stronger side in that last period to take the win by 45-43.

In the final day of competition, on Saturday, Fiji take on the Cook Islands needing a win to secure a place at the World Cup, while Samoa face off against Papua New Guinea needing to win big and for Fiji to slip up.

Source: RNZ