Fiji moved to the top of the standings in the Oceania Qualifier for next year’s Netball World Cup as they defeated Cook Islands 55-38 in their second game in Auckland.
Having won their opening matches, Fiji - the only one of the five involved to have competed at the recent Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast - lead thanks to a superior goal difference of three over Samoa, who did not play today.
In today’s other game, Papua New Guinea beat Tonga 64-56.
Fiji’s quick start against a Cook Islands team that had won its opening match put them in control for the entire match at the HighWire venue in Papakura.
They took a 15-5 lead in the first quarter and extended that differential by the close.
The Cook Islands still have every chance of claiming one of the two qualifying places for next year’s finals in Liverpool, however, as tomorrow they play Samoa, where a win would put them level on points with their opponents.
Fiji are due to play Papua New Guinea tomorrow.
Samoa have taken part in every Netball World Cup - or Championships - since 1987.
But Fiji, highest ranked of the five teams involved at number 12 in the overall world lists, started as favourites to win in New Zealand.
Both Tonga and Papua New Guinea were still in search of their first win in the competition coming into today’s game.
Papua New Guinea led by seven at half-time and extended that by full time.