The Fiji Pearls got hammered 85-29 by Jamaica in their opening match of the Netball World Cup early this morning.
Jamaica got off to a strong start, with goal shooter Romelda Aiken towering above her opponents to score twice.
Fiji were unfazed though, and while Jamaica’s attack dominated, they were unable to settle themselves in the first five minutes and missed a handful of opportunities.
They got into their attacking stride though, building a healthy lead as the first quarter progressed.
Congratulations Sunshine Girls— Netball Jamaica (@NetballJamaica) July 12, 2019
Ja 85 v Figi 29 pic.twitter.com/ZVdUBKO283
Once Fiji managed to break through Jamaica’s strong defence, they too showed glimpses of promise in the attacking third, despite ending the first quarter 19‑8 adrift.
Fiji came back strong in the second quarter, scoring in the opening minute.
Jamaica quickly seized control though, keeping their opponents out for a full ten minutes while consistently building their lead.
Fiji regained some strength in the final five minutes, with Laisani Waqa scoring three times and Lydia Panapasa scoring in the final 10 seconds of the quarter.
Jamaica’s experience and strength was really starting to show, as Fiji’s young team – which included a host of World Cup debutants – struggled to stop the flow.
They remained resilient though, and brought on fresh legs which posed a new challenge for the Sunshine Girls in the fourth quarter.
Lydia Panapasa and Unaisi Rauluni took their opportunities when they got on to court, but Jamaica showed their class to wrap up a comfortable 85‑29 win.
Fiji’s Lydia Panapasa says the girls did good against the number two team in the world and there are a lot of positives for them to take.
She says this is her first world cup and it’s been amazing.
The Fiji Pearls play South Africa in their second match at 5.25am Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.