Cook Islands’ Alanna Smith against Singapore A on Saturday. Netball - Cook Islands 53 - 50 Singapore A during Mirxes Nations Cup 2023 at OCBC Arena Hall 1 on 22-Oct-2023 (Photo by Chris Tew)
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The Cook Islands lost their first match at the 2023 Mirxes Nations Cup in Singapore to the home team early yesterday morning (Cook Islands time).
After narrowly beating
Singapore A 53-50 in their opening match, the top ranked Cook Islands side went
down to Singapore’s main side 36-58.
In a social media post,
Netball Cook Islands said it was not their day and commended Singapore for
their stellar performance, as they prepared for their third game last night
against Sri Lanka.
According to a statement
from the Mirxes Nations Cup, the day’s final game saw Singapore put on a well-rounded
display against the Cook Islands, the highest-ranked team at 19th
place, to secure a convincing 22-goal victory with a final score of 58-36.
Despite facing an
experienced Cook Islands attacking end with over 150 caps, a solid defensive
performance by Singapore held the Cook Islands team to just 13 goals in the
subsequent two quarters, while Singapore’s shooting end netted an impressive 27
It was an error-strewn final
quarter from both sides, but Singapore did enough to earn their first victory
in the Mirxes Nations Cup.
Speaking about their earlier
win over Singapore A, Netball Cook Islands secretary Tekura Moekaa said it was
a hard-fought battle that had spectators on the edge of their seats.
Mere Jean Piri, Rachel
Tuaputa, Aleida Tere, and Kimberly Tangirere made their debut and did well,
She said crucial to the Cook
Islands’ success was Nicol Tiaore, who intercepted and relentlessly hustled on
the court, showcasing her exceptional skills. Tiaore’s determination and
precision were pivotal, turning the tide of the game in national team’s favour.
Moekaa said adding to the
team’s strength was the return of veteran Curly Taripo, whose wealth of
experience became evident as she skillfully guided the attack end, opening up
space, and sharing the shooting load.
“Paired with the talented
and always composed Alanna Smith, Taripo’s calmness and confidence injected a
new vigor into the Cook Islands’ attacking side, and provided balance.”
Meanwhile, the Cook Islands
made a stunning impression during the opening ceremony in their poe tiare and
head ei, which stood out.
The Mirxes Nations Cup
follows a round-robin format that includes top-ranked teams, namely Cook
Islands (ranked 19th), Sri Lanka (ranked 20th), Papua New Guinea (ranked 36th),
Canada (unranked), and Singapore’s very own opens (ranked 26th) and A teams.