New Zealand (U18) perform a haka before they take on the Cook Islands. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS 22120623
Cook Islands lost their pace on the court during the second day of competition in the International Handball Federation Oceania Trophy Tournament on Rarotonga.
But it wasn’t without trying after they set a blistering
pace on Monday, beating Tonga in two games, across two age groups.
The Cooks went down to New Zealand 47-12 in the national
Under-18 boys game on Tuesday.
Monday was the opening day and it featured five matches in
the youth and junior competitions.
At the youth (U18) event, Cook Islands enjoyed a good start,
beating Tonga 21 -15.
New Zealand defeated Australia 29-10, notably conceding just
two goals in the opening 30 minutes.
Tahiti proved too strong for New Caledonia, taking a
comfortable 38-29 victory.
At the junior (U20) competition, Australia had the upper
hand against New Caledonia in an entertaining match, 30-28, while Cook Islands
defeated Tonga 31-25.
Cook Islands manager Mahai Daniel said he was happy with
Monday’s performances, as the team prepared themselves to face New Zealand.
“It was a learning curve, we were happy about what we
learned in training.
“The New Zealand games will teach us, we are the underdogs
and we won’t step down; we will play our hearts out.
“Our players our representing their country and I ask our
country to support them.”
Six youth and five junior teams are participating in the IHF
Trophy Oceania, held between 5 and 9 December.
Australia, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tahiti,
and Tonga are fighting for the title in the youth (U18) category, and the same
nations except Tahiti play in the junior (U20) tournament.
The events are being held in a round-robin format at the
National Arena on Rarotonga.
The winners of both competitions will qualify for the
Intercontinental Phase of the IHF Trophy. Besides, the tournaments will serve
as the qualification events for the 2023 IHF Men's Youth World Championship,
which will take place in Croatia, and the 2023 IHF Men's Junior World
Championship, to be held in Germany and Greece.