Black Pearls take out Nations Cup

Monday December 11, 2017 Written by Published in Netball
The Black Pearls with their trophy after winning the Nations Cup, defeating Swaziland 39-38. PHOTO: Facebook 17121001 The Black Pearls with their trophy after winning the Nations Cup, defeating Swaziland 39-38. PHOTO: Facebook 17121001

The Cook Islands are officially the champions of the 2017 netball Nations Cup after grinding out a tough win over opponents Swaziland 39-38.

 

Unranked going into the tournament, our girls took on all comers, going undefeated on their way to the final.

Facing more-favoured opponents such as Singapore, who were rated 19 going into the event, and Swaziland, who were ranked 30, the Black Pearls showed no fear as they took them all down.

The Cook Islands had previously defeated the African nation 54-44, so confidence would have been high going into the match.

But the match went right down to the wire, and the Black Pearls showed they have huge talent in their squad.

The win was no mean feat, considering their last international match was two years ago against PNG.

Cook Islands captain Luciana Nicholas said the win was a good start in helping the team get back into the netball world rankings ahead of next year's Oceania qualifiers for the 2019 Netball World Cup.

"We came in not knowing what to expect and we were quite scared we weren't going to win anything, so coming through with the trophy is a great honour for us” she added.

"We've got to play eight international games to get back into the rankings. This is our sixth and it has definitely helped us."

In the tournament’s other games, Singapore defeat Ireland 60-41 to claim third place, while Malaysia defeated Hong Kong 48-43 to finish fifth.

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