The opening day of the Sol2023 Pacific Games netball tournament unfolded at Friendship Hall in Honiara with exhilarating victories for Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga on Monday.

The gold medalists from Samoa 2019, Cook Islands, made a blistering start to their campaign, overwhelming Vanuatu with a resounding 84-13 victory.

The defending champions asserted their dominance from the onset, controlling possession and converting goals with precision to secure a confident win.

Cook Islands Captain Romehael Rauraa emphasized a focused approach, stating, “We will be taking each game as it comes, expecting to always improve in every game as the competition progresses.”

Samoa, the 2019 gold medalists, demonstrated their prowess by outplaying Norfolk Island and securing a convincing 73-14 win.

Captain Abigail Latu-Meafou highlighted the significance of an opening win, expressing their goal to boost rankings and aim for the top 10. The team's strategic approach sets the stage for an ambitious and competitive campaign.

Fiji, seven-time Pacific Games gold medalists and fan favorites, made a triumphant return after missing the 2019 edition. The Fiji Pearls dominated hosts Solomon Islands in a commanding 90-25 victory.

Taking control from the outset, they flawlessly converted every opportunity, leaving the home side struggling to match their pace and ball possession. The Fiji Pearls' impressive performance positions them as strong contenders in the tournament.

In a surprising turn of events, Tonga emerged as the standout performers of the day, clinching back-to-back victories against Niue and Papua New Guinea.

The Tongan Tala, runners-up in 2019, exhibited determination and skill, first thrashing Niue with a remarkable 90-17 win and then securing a hard-earned 62-54 victory against Papua New Guinea.

Tonga's remarkable start signals their ambition to go one step further and claim gold at Sol2023.

As the netball tournament continues today at Friendship Hall, the stage is set for more riveting matches.

With an entry fee of $30, spectators can expect the competition to intensify as teams vie for supremacy in this fiercely contested netball spectacle.

The Sol2023 Pacific Games netball tournament has indeed kicked off with a bang, promising thrilling contests and unforgettable moments in the days to come.


Source: Pacific Games News Service