22 Jan 2015

Sport: Fiji Pearls hold off Samoa, look to NZ rematch

12:48 pm on 22 January 2015

Fiji withstood a late fightback to edge Samoa 46-44 in their Oceania Netball Series clash in Suva on Wednesday, reaffirming their status as the top team in the Pacific.

The Pearls gave up the first three goals but recovered to lead 13-10 at the end of the opening quarter.

The teams went goal for goal in the second period with Fiji still three clear at halftime.

Samoa cut the deficit to one heading into the final 15 minutes and scores were level at 44-all with two minutes remaining, before Fiji found two crucial goals, and an intercept in the dying moments.

18 year old Episake Kahatoka was impressive on debut at goal keep for the home side however the Pearls have plenty of work to do at the other end after shooting just 60 percent to Samoa's 88.

Fiji were thrashed 81-28 by New Zealand on Monday and Pearls coach Kate Carpenter is relishing a rare second shot at the Silver Ferns.

"So we get an opportunity to understand how that felt, put some changes and place some more strategies and tactics and perhaps be able to get some different athletes on court - perhaps some of the younger ones who had the benefit of just sitting and watching on Monday night. I think we will be better on Thursday and we really need to be and we need to have learned from the two previous matches because we need to learn and learn quickly".