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Black Pearls maintain their top form

Thursday December 07, 2017 Written by Published in Netball
Rarotonga-based Anania Piri goes high in defence against Swaziland on Tuesday night at the Nations Cup in Singapore. PHOTO: Netball Singapore/17120614 Rarotonga-based Anania Piri goes high in defence against Swaziland on Tuesday night at the Nations Cup in Singapore. PHOTO: Netball Singapore/17120614

The Cook Islands netball side is in unstoppable form at the Nations Cup tournament in Singapore.

 

The Black Pearls recorded their fourth consecutive win against previously unbeaten Swaziland 54-44 on Tuesday night to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament.

The national side previously beat Malaysia 69-35, Hong Kong 48-33 and Ireland 40-32 in the week-long annual event.

The match against Swaziland was the highlight of day four action between the two teams.

According to a report on netball.org, both teams started well, matching each other in the final third.

Only a late Cook Islands goal towards the end of the game separated the sides in the first quarter, which finished 13-12.

The lead changed hands in the second quarter and it was Swaziland who went into the break leading 28-25.

Cook Islands restored their one-goal lead in the third quarter and increased it further in the final quarter.

The Dale Atkinson-coached side maintained an 89 per cent conversion rate throughout the game compared to Swaziland’s 80 per cent.

Cook Islands goal keeper (GK), Anania Piri said good planning had led to the team’s success so far.

“We basically go into our own cell groups and plan out our goals for each of those groups and that’s what we try to achieve as a team and also as individuals,” Piri said in a post-match interview.

“We have the motivation for everything when we strive to play for our families, play for each other and play for ourselves.

“I want my family back home to watch and make my parents proud.”

The win against Swaziland sees the Cook Islands, which is unranked, maintaining its lead on the points table, followed by Ireland.

Swaziland, which also has three wins from four matches, is close behind on third spot.

Yesterday was a rest day and today the Luciana Nicholas-skippered side takes on host Singapore in their final preliminary round match.

Cook Islands is likely to take on Ireland or Swaziland in the final on Friday (CI time).