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Thursday 8 December 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Handball, Sports

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The 2022 IHF Oceania Youth and Junior Men’s Trophy in Rarotonga continues with Australia, Tahiti and New Zealand proving their strength across the competition.

Both nations were leading in youth and junior competition matches until Tahiti snatched a game away from New Zealand by only one point 28-27 on Wednesday – day three of the competition held at the National Arena in Nikao.  

There was exhilaration from the floor as Tahiti players celebrated their tight win.   

At the end of play on Tuesday, in the youth (U18) event, Tahiti and New Zealand were leading the race with the maximum of four points after two matches.

On day two, Tahiti were dominant against Australia 34-9, while New Zealand proved too strong for the Cook Islands and cruised to a 47-12 victory in the U18.

In the Junior (U20) match, NZ again beat the Cook Islands 35- 14.

Cook Islands remained on two points, just like New Caledonia, who defeated Tonga 38-14.

The teams from Tonga and Australia were yet to earn their maiden point at the tournament and were scheduled to meet last night. 

Australia were doing much better at the Junior (U20) competition, as they claimed their second straight win on Tuesday 31-9 against Tonga.

Australia topped the table with four points, followed by Cook Islands and New Zealand, both on two points.

Six youth and five junior teams are participating in the IHF Trophy Oceania, held between December 5 and 9.  

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.