28 Sep 2016

Sport: Fiji and Cook Islands put winning records on the line

10:24 am on 28 September 2016

Fiji and Cook Islands will put their winning records on the line today as they bid to seal a berth at netball's World Youth Cup.

Cook Islands beat Papua New Guinea 55-42 on Tuesday to back up their opening victory over Samoa.

Fiji became the first Pacific team to defeat the Netball Northern selection side in a friendly match, having thrashed Tonga and Samoa on Monday.

Cook Islands proved too strong for PNG.

Cook Islands proved too strong for PNG. Photo: Facebook / Netball Cook Islands

Both teams are unbeaten in the qualifying tournament and whoever prevails this morning will guarantee a top two finish and a spot at next year's World Cup.

Cook Islands coach John Glassie said this is the position they want to be in.

"We expected PNG to come out and play consistent netball and good netball and they came out and they were very strong," he said.

"The girls were feeling the emotions in the first half and once we got into our gameplan then the second half certainly turned into our favour and we were able to consolidate the gains and build the score."

Cook Islands kept their winning record in tact against Papua New Guinea.

Cook Islands kept their winning record in tact against Papua New Guinea. Photo: Facebook / Netball Cook Islands

The Baby Black Pearls have two chances to ensure a grand final berth, with this morning's clash with Fiji followed by a match-up against winless Tonga in the afternoon.

"We're in a position where we wanted to be and it's just a matter of finishing the rounds now and making sure everyone's healthy so we can concentrate on Thursday, which is the playoff games," said Glassie.

"All we need to do (on Wednesday) is win one game to finish in the top two so that's what our aim is to get one of those two games and then set-up for Thursday.

"You never know what's going to happen in a tight game and Vicki (Wilson, the Fiji U21s coach) is a great coach so I'm expecting her team to be well-drilled and composed so it's up to us to make sure we keep our standard at that level and finish with a good game.

"Tonga are a physical and strong side so it's not a given, we've still got to play our game and make sure we're composed."

Meanwhile Samoa thrashed Tonga 70-29 in yesterday's other match to register their first win of the tournament and keep their qualification hopes alive.

A win against Papua New Guinea this afternoon would put them into the playoff for the third and final World Cup berth.