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17 July 2019 | Uncategorized

Samoa maintain perfect Group E record

Samoa made it three wins from three in the second group stage of the Vitality Netball World Cup as they beat Singapore by 63 goals to 49 today.

The game pitted top against bottom in Group E, and that difference in placings so far at the competition was reflected on the court.

Having lost against both Sri Lanka and Fiji prior to this game, Singapore are still looking for their first win of the tournament and never looked likely to find it here. 

Samoa won all three of the previous meetings at a World Cup between the teams – including by seven goals at the last tournament in Sydney – and were in no mood to see that record taken away from them. 

In the first quarter, it was clear from the start which side was going to take home the points. As much as Singapore did well in possession under pressure at times, Samoa were more ruthless and visibly crisper with their passes. 

Lenora Misa was Player of the Match as Samoa beat Sri Lanka yesterday, producing a perfect template for dealing with tournament top-scorer Tharjini Sivalingam. Misa, today winning her fifth cap for her country, was impressive once again, though her game was not tested to anywhere close to the same level against Singapore’s Xinyi Tan and Charmaine Soh. 

The gap at the end of the first quarter was only seven goals, but the gulf in quality was evident. That goal difference was set to increase as the game played out, and by the end of the second period, Samoa had scored 15 more times to Singapore’s 12.

Singapore battled and netted three times in the space of 90 seconds, but that only encouraged their opponents to restore their buffer. As quickly as Singapore had led by two in the quarter, they were pegged back once again. 

Having only won one quarter at the tournament so far, it was not long before Singapore had allowed Samoa to get back into rhythm. Goal shooter Toa Tanimo was already over 20 goals for the game and at half-time, the Group E leaders led the match by a scoreline of 31-21.

The second half of the game followed much the same pattern as the first had, though Singapore very nearly got a second quarter-win at the tournament in the penultimate 15-minute period. 

Only a goal in the very last second from Tanimo to make it 13-13 in the third quarter prevented Singapore from achieving that minor victory, albeit one that would have made little difference in this match overall. 

Singapore’s wing attack Kimberly Lim, making her sixth appearance at the tournament and her 84th for her country overall, reappeared on court for the final quarter, having also played in the second. Her creative skills, though, were not sufficient to drive Singapore back into contention. 

Tanimo finished the match having converted 45 goals from 48 attempts, and her side won the final quarter by 19 goals to 15, the highest-scoring quarter of the game.

Samoa’s 13th-place play-off against Fiji – set to be a fascinating encounter – will take place on Friday morning. Singapore will have one final chance to get their first win of the competition, as they play Sri Lanka in the 15th-place play-off during the same session.

Player of the Match, Tee Salanoa, said:

“I’m really happy (with the performance today). Our game-plan was to start strong and finish strong. We had a really good start and we really pushed it out in the last quarter.”