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Netball News from around the world
Fiji's netballers created history this week by winning the country's first FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup title in Singapore. Young shooter Unaisi Kubunameca Rauluni was named player of the tournament.
The Unaisi Rokoura-coached side defeated hosts Singapore 51-42 in the grand final, to end their bid to take a third title at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall, after the home side took the title in 2006 and 2007. Despite leading 14-11 at the first interval, Singapore found it hard to contend with Fiji's short, sharp passing game, and with a number of new internationals on court to gain international experience ahead of the World Youth Championships in 2013, the Pacific side regrouped to take the lead 28-18 at half time. The home team regrouped in the third quarter, inspired by some dogged defensive work by veteran Charlene Porimah, and closed the gap to seven goals, but Fiji was not to be denied the title, and refocused in the final period to close out the game.
World number 23 Malaysia edged out tournament debutantes Namibia, currently ranked 24 in the world 52-47 to take third place, while the fifth and sixth place play off saw a thrilling goal-fest from which Sri Lanka, ranked 18, edged out Papua New Guinea, currently 17, 73-71.
Wales sealed a 3-0 series win over close rivals Scotland this week with a 36-22 victory in the final game of the series. Wales took the first two matches between the two European nations 39-33 and 48-26.
As a pre-cursor to the 2012 ANZ Championships season, Melbourne Vixens have announced that the side will play its final pre-season match against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Bendigo – the first time national league teams have played in regional Victoria. The match, to be held at the end of March, will be the main attraction of a three day event which aims to promote netball across the area while showcasing Bendigo as a possible home base for a state league netball side. Meanwhile, with one eye on the 2013 World Youth Championships, Australia coach Lisa Alexander has been leading an 18 day camp for the country's extended U21 squad of 25 players at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
The 2011-12 Jamaica Netball Association (JNA)/Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Open league competition is now under way, with former champions Tivoli Gardens A setting the pace with a 31-20 win over UWI Pelicans. Tivoli Gardens, featuring a host of current and former internationals in its line up, last won the competition in 2009.
In England, ten young netballers aged 15-17 have been selected to take part in the seventh National Talent Camp run by the Youth Sports Trust, which takes place next week in Loughborough. While at the camp, the players will join nearly 100 aspiring Olympians and Paralympians and gain a unique insight into the world of performance sport and the challenges which lie ahead for them.
Finally, following England's success at the recent World Netball Series in Liverpool, England Netball has announced that the eight teams in the Fiat Netball Superleague will compete in the country's first Cathedral City Lighter Fastnet Grand Prix, as a warm up for the 2012 Superleague season. Played over two weekends in January 2012, the competition will group the sides into Northern and Southern conferences, before the winners face off in the Grand Final on Friday 13 January 2012. For more information, including ticket details, please visit www.englandnetball.co.uk.
For more information about netball around the world, please visit www.netball.org