5 Oct 2010

Lean pickings for Pacific nations on opening day in Delhi

4:09 pm on 5 October 2010

It's been a tough start for Pacific countries on the opening day of competition at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

In lawn bowls the Cook Islands' women's pairs of Tungane Tere and Tangata Tokorangi lost their opening match to host nation India two sets to nil before succuming to Northern Ireland, in their second game, in a tie-break.

Niue's pair were beaten 2-0 by Guerney as were Papua New Guinea against Brunei.

Brunei's men's triples edged Niue in a tie-break, while in the women's triples PNG's team of Moata Apu, Elizabeth Manau Bure and Geua Vada Tau managed a rare win, beating a Canadian trio by one set to love.

Kiribati tennis player Keebwa Maetiu bowed out in the first round of singles against Russell Larikah of the Bahamas and Michael Leong of Solomon Islands also exited at the hands of England's James Ward.

Papua New Guinea weightlifter Morea Baru finished 10th in the final of the men's 56kg class while compatriot Kathleen Hare was seventh in the women's 48kg class.

Australia disposed of Samoa 76-39 in the opening netball clash, before New Zealand thrashed Papua New Guinea 102-21.

Silver Ferns shooter Grace Rasmussen says New Zealand was fortunate to be able to play around with different combinations.

"Going into the game we set out a gameplan and I think we executed that quite well and we were able to put out different combinations against a team like that and I think all the combinations worked well together and obviously we've got a few things to work on but I think it's all go from here on in."

The Cook Islands begin their netball campaign tonight against the Silver Ferns and the team's Chef De Mission, George George, was philosophical about his country's chances.

We've got quite a fair bit of our girls from Auckland - not to say they know exactly how the Silver Ferns play but I think the Cook Islands team knows the Kiwi style of play and it's not the first time we've played against New Zealand. I'm pretty sure they know the game tomorrow means a lot to out girls and they will go into it fighting hard tomorrow, there's no doubt about it.

George George says how the Cook Islands go against New Zealand will give the team a good idea of where they're at and what they need to work on in their other group matches.