New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Samoa defeats Desert Jewels in series opener

Samoa defeats Desert Jewels in series opener

2024-06-11  Limba Mupetami

Samoa defeats Desert Jewels in series opener

The Debmarine Desert Jewels suffered a 54-44 defeat against Samoa in their opening match at the 2024 Pacific Netball Series, held yesterday at Nissan Arena in Brisbane, Australia.

The match saw a swift and aggressive start from Samoa, who quickly established a 17-11 lead in a very entertaining match. 

The Namibians struggled defensively, as their opponents were very quick on their feet and in their turnovers.

Despite their slow start, the Desert Jewels showed significant improvement against a defensively well-drilled side, closing the gap to 28-23 by halftime. 

In the third quarter, Samoa’s solid defence, particularly the consistent scoring from goal-shooter Papi Alaalatoa, thwarted Namibia’s efforts to take the lead – even though they mounted a strong comeback, narrowing the score to 44-36. 

Critical errors allowed Samoa to capitalise and extend its advantage. 

In the final quarter, the Jewels made effective use of their turnovers and defended much better, with notable performances from goal-shooter Uendjisuvera Kangumine and captain Anna Kasper, who worked tirelessly to minimise the score gap. 

Venyekerera Maharero also stood out with her impressive play.  However, the time was not enough for the Namibians to come back in the match.

Despite their loss, head coach Julene Meyer expressed satisfaction with her players’ performance. 

“I am happy with the way the girls played. We lost by 10 goals. We were competitive for two quarters. We won one, and drew one quarter, which is positive. 

“This is the first time these players have been exposed to the Island style of play, which is a global way of play. We are going to learn and grow a lot. Our centre-pass conversions are not where they should be. 

“Our centre-pass and attacking play were congested, and struggled to get around the ball. We need to keep doing the good stuff more. Up next, we face Tonga, which is ranked number eight in the world, so the competition doesn’t get easier. All the players are fit. There are no injuries, so we are looking forward to the rest of the tournament,” added Meyer.

Reflecting on the match, Cornelia Mupenda of the Desert Jewels commented: “This was a great opportunity. The match was hard, but we pushed until the last quarter. Moving forward, I think we just need to stick to the game plan so that we can at least reach the quarters or semi-finals of the tournament”.

The Namibians are using the series to better their world ranking. 

The series is run by PacificAus Sports, hosted by Netball Australia, and funded by the Australian Government. 

The series, now in its fourth edition, runs until 15 June, and features teams from Namibia, Fiji, Samoa, Singapore, Tonga – and for the first time, an Australian First Nations team, known as the Black Swans. 

Tonga aim for their fourth consecutive series win – but last year, they faced tough competition.

Namibia will face Tonga this morning, hoping to build on their performance and secure a victory in the series. 

The match is expected to kick off at 11h00.

2024-06-11  Limba Mupetami

Share on social media