The Cook Islands netball team have been thrashed 78-23 by a New Zealand development squad in the first of two matches at Rarotonga's National Sports Arena last night.
Team manager Mandy Souchon says the locals were a bit shellshocked at the start and and failed to take their chances against a strong New Zealand side.
"We couldn't really get the ball into the shooting circle so we need to concentrate on that attacking end and we feel that our defence actually played pretty well, considering our main defence was injured, so I think the girls tried their hardest last night and we're going to recap on that today".
The Black Pearls squad has already been out on the practice court this morning and Mandy Souchon is confident of seeing some improvements with a match under their belts.
"I think we need to get a good start and not let New Zealand take control, as they did last night. There's about five or six players that are new for this squad and so last night's game was the first time they've actually played together. I think we've got some combinations going and I think they'll be a better team tonight.
Head coach Dale Atkinson has flown home to New Zealand for work commitments and assistant coach John Glassie will take charge of the Black Pearls in tonight's second match.