Barbados suffer fifth defeat

SYDNEY, Australia –– Make it 5-0 for the struggling Bajan Gems.

Tensions were high and game faces were on in the clash between Fiji and Barbados on Day 6 of the Netball World Cup with the focused Fijian side proving too strong coming away with a 48-37 win today.

Barbados’ Nikita Piggott (left) tussling with Fiji’s Episake Kahatoka for ball possession.
Barbados’ Nikita Piggott (left) tussling with Fiji’s Episake Kahatoka for ball possession.

From the outset it was clear that Fiji’s goal shooter, Taraima Mitchell (35/40) and goal attack Unouna Afa Rusivakula (13/19) were on a mission, working off one another in and outside the circle, pushing their team to an early four point lead.

Lack of communication on court at times from the Barbados team gave the Fijian opportunities to grab momentum. However failing to punish Barbados, the scores were locked at quarter time at 10-all.

As the second quarter progressed both teams settled into a rhythm with Barbados taking an early lead. The Fijians were up to the challenge however, and fought back, bringing the match-up back level at 15-all within minutes. It was a case of deja vu for Barbados as late turnovers helped Fiji take the lead into the half-time break by four goals, 23-19.

At the main change, Fiji brought Maria Lutua into wing attack, moving Alesi Waqa to centre, with Barbados bringing Shonette Bruce into goal keeper. The fresh legs of Lutua helped Fiji extend their lead to four at third quarter time as Barbados looked to regroup quickly in an injury timeout with nine minutes to go.

Unforced errors from Barbados continued to help Fiji, extending their run to 32-31 with five minutes to go. A substitution for Shonica Wharton saw Piggott back on the court and she quickly made her mark. Fiji remained strong and determined to take the game as they finished the quarter strong, taking a 37-22 lead.

At the final change, Barbados made one change bringing Faye Sealy on for Piggott with the change doing little to stop the Fijians run. A late quarter fight-back reduced the margin but the Fijians were able to run out comfortable winners, 48-37.

Sealy had 12 goals from 15 attempts, Piggott had 9 from 12, Wharton netted 12 from 16 attempts and Sheniqua Thomas had four goals from eight attempts. (INF)

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