14 Jul 2017

Sport: Fiji through to Netball Youth Cup semis

7:27 am on 14 July 2017

Fiji are through to the semi finals at the Netball World Youth Cup after grinding out a come from behind 39-37 victory over Uganda.

The Baby Pearls trailed by five goals at the end of the first quarter but levelled the match at half-time and went into the final quarter down by one.

Head coach Vicki Wilson was elated with her side's performance in challenging circumstances.

"It wasn't pretty, that's for sure. It was low-scoring, a large number of errors - it was really a defensive game," she said.

"To win it and to get into the semi finals is absolutely amazing and I don't know if you can hear the girls - the girls are still cheering.

"So it's a great thrill for all of us and absolutely thrilled to make history for Fiji."

The Baby Pearls are on track for a spot in the knockout rounds.

Fiji are through to the semi finals at the World Youth Champs. Photo: Facebook / Netball Fiji

Fiji were competing in the knockout rounds for the first time at the World Youth Cup and Vicki Wilson was impressed with the resolve of her players, who bounced back one day after a heavy defeat by England.

"I think that's the most pleasing thing, they just never gave up," she said.

"Yes there were errors and errors at critical moments and errors that weren't necessarily when there was some free but it's that pressure, that intensity that the girls aren't used to playing in at all.

"They just have never experienced anything like that before but to find a way to win is certainly pleasing. They're over the moon, they're just still so excited."

Former Australian netball captain Vicki Wilson.

Fiji Under 21 netball coach Vicki Wilson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It doesn't get any easier for the history-makers with New Zealand next up in Gaborone, Botswana, after the the defending champions thrashed South Africa 69-32.

"Tomorrow it's going to be another huge step up for the girls going up against New Zealand and they're in fantastic form," said Vicki Wilson.

"They're so slick, they've got great rhythm so we just hope to get out there and just have a good run against them."

In other results, Australia embarrassed Scotland 95-22 and will take on England in the other semi final, who outclassed Jamaica 55-38.

Meanwhile Samoa defeated Barbados 54-48 and will take on hosts Botswana for a spot in the 9th place playoff match.

The Cook Islands secured their first win of the tournament, beating Trinidad and Tobago 40-31, and will face Zimbabwe in the other 9-12th place semi final.