Netballers score win at long last

Monday July 17, 2017 Written by Published in Netball
Rarotonga-based Daimzel Rongokea with her uncle Pare and his wife Andrea in Botswana. 17071324/Facebook (Andrea Rongokea) Rarotonga-based Daimzel Rongokea with her uncle Pare and his wife Andrea in Botswana. 17071324/Facebook (Andrea Rongokea)

The Cook Islands under-21 team recorded their first win in the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana, beating Trinidad and Tobago 40-31 on Wednesday night (CI time).

 

The win sees the Baby Black Pearls progress into the 9-12 place playoff against Zimbabwe which was scheduled to be played last night.

The John Glassie-coached side finished the pool play with only a draw after losing their opening three matches to Jamaica, Botswana and Uganda.

The team went down to Jamaica 41-43 in a nail-biting opening clash before going down to the hosts 41-50 and Uganda 39-52.

In their final group match, the team made a comeback in the third quarter to draw with Malaysia 45-all.

“Our final pool game was a tough match right to the end!” the team posted on Netball Cook Island Facebook page.

“Clawing our way back from a nine goal deficit in the third quarter, the girls put on a fabulous display of grit and determination fighting their way back to finish the game on a 45-all draw, placing fourth in their pool on count back.”

The Cook Islands team was hit with a gastro bug during their first week in Gaborone and head coach Glassie said, after coming through that incident, half the squad have now picked up a new virus.

He earlier said that the illness had affected the team’s performance in the pool competition.

“We were trying to rest some players because we’ve had some illness in the team – there’s a virus going through the team,” Glassie told Radio New Zealand on Wednesday.

“We had to rest some of the players and they weren’t able to start the game, so unfortunately we had to put them towards the end and try and to fight out for the draw.

“We’ve probably got about six girls at 100 per cent - so half our team are a little bit down and we’re just trying to make sure it doesn’t spread any further.”

Glassie said in their final pool match against Malaysia, one of the girls did not take the court and a couple of the key players who were still recovering had to shoulder the burden.

“So they played (while) feeling sick so they’re probably sitting at about 80 per cent.”

Fiji is the only Pacific team to have made it through to the main competition.

The Fijians were scheduled to play New Zealand in the semifinal last night.

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