3 Oct 2016

Sport: Pacific netball in good health

7:49 am on 3 October 2016

Fiji, the Cook Islands and Samoa have nine months to prepare for the netball's World Youth Cup after sealing their qualification in Auckland this week.

Fiji beat the Cook Islands in the Oceania qualifying final and finished undefeated over four days.

Fiji celebrate winning the Oceania World Youth Cup netball qualifying tournament.

Fiji celebrate winning the Oceania World Youth Cup netball qualifying tournament. Photo: Netball New Zealand

Cook Islands coach John Glassie believes the tournament, which also featured Papua New Guinea and Tonga, reflected well on netball in the Pacific.

"When you look at these Pacific nations, often people think that the standard isn't quite high but when you look at the intensity they bring to the game they're not full-time athletes like you see in developing countries but as far as the standard goes with gameplay and stuff they're so strong," he said.

"They've got natural talent, their agility and vertical jump is amazing so there's so much potential in the Pacific and that's why you see the occasional Pacific Islander in many of the Silver Ferns and Australian teams."

John Glassie said Fiji is hosting an invitational tournament in January, featuring Australia, New Zealand, England and Samoa that will be invaluable to their World Cup preparations.

Cook Islands prevails 42-37 against Samoa at the Oceania World Youth Cup qualifiers.

The Cook Islands beat Samoa 42-37 during the tournament Photo: Facebook / Netball Cook Islands

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