Vanuatu Defeat PNG for the Bronze at the Junior World Cup Qualifiers!

The Vanuatu U.21 boys have done their country proud - defeating Papua New Guinea for the first ever time in Hockey History.

In the Bronze medal game at the Junior World Cup Qualifiers, the boys were able to defeat the experienced PNG team, with a closing score of 2-1.

After a tough tournament in Gold Coast Australia, the Vanuatu Boys were desperate for a win. With Samoa pulling out last minute, and our game against New Zealand cancelled due to bad weather, the boys were keen to get a good score on the board.

"Today’s game created history for Vanuatu Hockey" says national Star Coach Peter Robinson. For the last few years we have been trying to catch up to our Pacific Island neighbors, who have a lot more experience and resources in hockey.

After losing 3-1 in the round robin to the PNG team, we knew we had he skill and speed to defeat them, we just needed the dedication and execution to put away our opportunities.

The Bronze medal match was a chance to demonstrate the hard work and improvement the boys have made in the past 10 days.

The team came out blazing, with all possession and evident skill coming though our midfield and stickers including Hiro Namu and Jerry Kalangasiu. New players to the team, including Henry Houdy and Simon Aru, both representing Tanoliu Village, demonstrated just how much they had improved, having only taken to the full field a week ago.

Fantastic build up from Robin Warren and impressive skill and speed from star sticker Nalpinie Iasi helped the team to a 1-0 lead in the first 20 min. After the excitement of the goal however, the team lost concentration and PNG struck back quickly bringing the score to 1-1.

After refocusing the team regained possession and Iasi was able to slot in another fantastic goal, with a ripping tommerhalk from the top, taking the team to 2-1 at half time. His celebration was also one to remember.

The second half was a tough 35 minutes, with many opportunities from both sides. However with impressive defense, the Vanuatu Boys were able to hold off PNG. "The boys held their lines well, working hard for each other and sticking to their roles. Their defense was exceptional, saving a number of penalty corners, and staying strong right down to the last minute. " says development coach Onis Namu, who has been fantastic new addition to the management of Vanuatu Hockey.

The team is very excited to take the bronze medal home, and looks forward to bringing these new learned skills and experience back to Vanuatu to further develop the sport at a community level.


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Preparations are under way for Oceania Intercontinental cup in Sydney Australia.The Mens team will be hoping to go more better than the silver they won at last year in world league round 1! Team to be announced soon! Hopefully both Men and Women team will be competed in the tournament.

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