Fiji maintain their top ranking in SPG Netball

Saturday 1st August, 2007

Despite their best efforts Team Samoa could not oust Fiji from their number one seeded position in the South Pacific Games Netball ladder.  Fiji won the SPG Gold Medal beating Samoa 62-47.  

Seventeen seconds into the match and Samoa scored the first goal.  It only took Fiji twenty six more seconds to respond with a goal of their own.  After the lead bounced back and forth a few times, Fiji secured an eight point lead heading into the second quarter. 

The deafening roar inside the stadium could be attributed to the seven hundred plus strong crowd of spectators.  Despite this being a game on Samoan soil, a large proportion of the fervent supporters were Fijian.  Their constant encouragement for the players and enthusiasm was surpassed by the constant movement of the players on court who did not drop their energy levels once throughout the game.  

Fiji's defense in goal was excellent with the added benefit of a slight height advantage on the Samoan shooters.  This said, Samoa's Goal Attack Malu Fa'asavalu played an outstanding first quarter shooting 80% of her attempts.  At the opposite end of the court Fijian Goal Shooter Taraima Rara was once again unstoppable with a 94.12% success rate throughout the game.  As all of her opponents have found throughout this tournament, Rara's height and accuracy in goal is a cut above the rest.

Fiji secured a fifteen point lead in the third quarter.  Despite Samoa's best efforts to regain ground, the final result was a fifteen point lead to the Fijians. 

According to Mere Rabuka, captain for Fiji, "It was a real relief to win today.  It is a good payback for the last six months of training.  Many of us have made big sacrifices to be away from our homes and families to train together for the love of the sport and playing for our nation.  Without our Father in heaven we wouldn't be here today.  He has been with us right from the start."  

Samoa made history in claiming the first SPG Netball medal ever for their nation.  Opheira Herder, Co-captain for Samoa said "it was disappointing not to take gold but we'll take silver any day!  We had a bad start and it was hard to come back.  I really think it came down to Fiji being hungrier for the win.  They played very well."


Quarter Results

















- Lauren Cassar


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