Tonga’s celebrated goal shooter shines in Netball Premiership win

Palavi put on a show, with her movement and accuracy to post causing all sorts of headaches for Geelong’s Brooke Allan.

Madelyn Gray was impactful out in goal attack, drawing Tori Honner out with her as the Falcons put together a dominant final term. Mel Bragg worked in overdrive both in centre and wing defence to quell the influence of Montana Holmes and Maggie Lind who had the ball on a string in the final quarter.

Tongan PM hails Tongan Tala

Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni said the Government is throwing its full support behind the team.

It's the first time Tonga has qualified for the World Cup after beating Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands in the Oceania qualifiers.

Coach Jaqua Pori-Makea-Simpson said it was a big step forward for women's sport in the Kingdom.

Pride and passion take centre stage at inaugural netball tournament

It's a remarkable performance by a team that is unranked on the world ladder and made up of players based in Australia and New Zealand; no-one is allowed out of Tonga right now with the country in lockdown.

It's been an emotional week for the Tongan squad, and goalkeeper, Renee Vaioleti, says they have dedicated their matches to their friends and relatives back in the islands, as the recovery from January's natural disaster and now a fast-spreading outbreak of COVID-19 continues.

Fiji Pearls in shocking loss to Tonga

It was a very slow start for both sides as Fiji made a few errors leaving them trailing 11-18 behind Tonga in the first quarter.

Tonga worked hard in the early minutes wanting to leave a huge gap in the scores with quick balls on the attack.

Although Fiji was slow off the mark in the first couple of minutes, they made many opportunities with the ball as goal shooter Unaisi Rauluni failed to miss a hoop.

Fiji doubled its points at half-time but it was not enough as Tonga remained in a strong lead.

Silver Ferns survive South Africa scare

After scoring a comfortable 54-43 win over South Africa yesterday, the Proteas challenged the Ferns all the way.

The Ferns led by just one goal against the fifth world ranked side after the first quarter.

Sulu Fitzpatrick then replaced Kelly Jury at goal keep, in an attempt to tighten up the defensive end.

The Ferns led 28-25 at half time.

A plucky South Africa wouldn't go away - equalising with New Zealand midway through the third quarter.

They then took a three goal lead, while the New Zealand side started to look a bit shellshocked.

Tonga netball eyes global debut

Last month's Oceania qualifying tournament was cancelled because of Covid-19, with Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands qualifying to play in Fiji next year, courtesy of their current world rankings.

Tonga Netball Association CEO, Salote Sisifa, said after overcoming the initial shock, she was excited for the kingdom to be represented on the netball world stage.

"We would have loved to earn that spot traditionally but, given the situation with Covid-19, we feel incredibly lucky," she said.

All Blacks coach salutes Silver Ferns counterpart

The All Blacks arrived back from Argentina in time to see the end of the netball final against Australia.

Hansen says they were all genuinely excited and proud of what the Ferns achieved and in particular the journey coach Noeline Taurua has taken.

Cook Islands to face Tonga for netball gold

Cook Islands booked a place in the final by defeating Papua New Guinea 58-31 at the Multisport Centre, Faleata, urged on by their boisterous fans.

“This is great for Cook Island netball. Last time we were in a gold medal match was 1991. We have a huge support base, both here and at home,” said coach Suzanne Evans.

Both teams entered the game undefeated from pool matches. Cook Islands took the lead and kept PNG goaled for the first four minutes.

Tonga netball setting foundations for long-term success

Jaqua Heddle returned to New Zealand last year to take up the role General Manager of Netball Taranaki, after 26 years living in Australia.

She spent two decades coaching netball across the Tasman and in 2016 was named Netball New South Wales coach of the year.

Heddle is from a Rarotongan and Tahitian background but said the chance to coach with Tonga was a fantastic opportunity.

Samoa, Cook Islands netballers make winning starts

Samoa beat Tonga 56-41 in the opening match in Papakura last night, before the Cook Islands edged Papua New Guinea 54-51.

The region's top ranked side, Fiji, had a first round bye after competing at the Commonwealth Games.

The Pearls failed to win a game on the Gold Coast and coach Vicki Wilson said she's expecting strong competition from their Pacific rivals.

"Well I know Samoa will be drawing on all the experienced players in New Zealand," she said