18 Dec 2015

Sport: Cook Islands netballers take positives from heavy series loss

12:05 pm on 18 December 2015

The Cook Islands netball team are remaining upbeat despite another heavy defeat against the New Zealand development squad.

The Black Pearls were outclassed 85-22 at Rarotonga's National Sports Arena last night, 24 hours after losing the first match by 55 goals.

Assistant coach John Glassie took charge of the team last night and says the scoreline didn't reflect the intensity of the game.

He was pleased to be able to give the entire squad some time on court and says while New Zealand's defence was sharp they adjusted their game-plan and were able to get into the shooting circle more often.

"After seven minutes the score was 9-3 whereas the previous night the score was 13-0 so the girls certainly came out with more intensity. They certainly came out expecting the physicality of the game and they weren't as shell-shocked as they were the first night so it was a great experience to have that first game behind them and be able to use that experience for the next game".

John Glassie says the series was a good learning curve but says the players need to improve both on and off the court.

"Their personal fitness and that sort of thing is probably an area where they can certainly improve - that will help the coach work on their skills to take that onto the court. The first thing I'd be asking them to do with their strength and conditioning is probably their dietary habits. The Cook Islanders love their food -which I do as well - so it's just understanding the body mechanics and what foods they should be eating and what quantities is probably another step for them as well".

John Glassie has just been appointed coach of the Cook Islands Under 21 team.

He says with most of the senior squad eligible for the World Youth Champs in 2017, the past couple of games has been a good chance to assess the talent on offer.

The Cook Islands squad pose after their two-match series with the NZ Development Team.

The Cook Islands squad pose after their two-match series with the NZ Development Team. Photo: Facebook / Netball Cook Islands