11 Dec 2014

Sport: Samoa netballers stay top, PNG grab first win

11:21 am on 11 December 2014

Samoa have a sealed a spot in the final of the Nations Cup netball tournament in Singapore after beating the hosts 53-47 in a top of the table clash.

The top seeds had to dig in after Singapore cut the deficit to just three points heading into the final quarter.

Samoa are unbeaten after four rounds and could face the hosts again in the title decider if both win their final group matches against Ireland and Malaysia on Friday.

Samoa Assistant coach Henry Tunupopo says the Nations Cup is the start of an important period for the team.

"I think it is a good stepping stone for the girls' preparations for the upcoming campaign - in particular the World Cup - but also another stepping stone is the Tri Series with the [Silver] Ferns and Fiji. It's good the girls' are doing well. We've got some down-time during the day so a lot of recovery and a lot of rest we will allow them through the rest of the week."

Meanwhile Papua New Guinea grabbed their first win of the tournament, thrashing Ireland 56-35, to move off the bottom of the table and Botswana were too strong for Malaysia.

PNG Pepes captain Winnie Mavara says they made less basic errors and were more consistent against the Irish and the challenge now is to keep the momentum going.