THE results maybe disappointing for the Samoans but it was healthy given their tireless efforts in keeping Fiji at bay in last night's hard-fought 43-49 loss during the LICI sponsored Pacific Netball Series match at the Vodafone Arena.
The Pacific rivalry and brutality was again evident as Samoa bounced back from a poor 8-16 start in the first quarter to a breathtaking finish in the final 15 minutes. Although they were trailing by 11 goals at the break, a pep talk from coach Marcia Hardcastle fired the Samoans to narrow the deficit at 33-35 with only two minutes left in the third quarter. A crucial goal from youngster Unaisi Rauluni and shooter Taraima Mitchell further extended Fiji's lead 37-33 heading into the last quarter.
Hardcastle said their target was to spoil Fiji's game in the final 15 minutes.
"At the break, I told the girls that we need to finish strong. We played the 15 minutes game, we knew the Fijians will be strong, physical and very skilful but I think we gave them a great contest," she said.
"The results maybe disappointing, but it was healthy for us and we look forward to bounce back in our next game."
Hardcastle added that crucial turnovers and passes were their downfall against the home team.
"The girls worked hard, it was a hard game for us especially when we had to make a comeback after the first quarter. I think we consistently worked hard whereas crucial passes did not go our way.
"Anyway we will come back strongly tomorrow (today), the tournament is not yet finished," Hardcastle said.
Samoa plays Papua New Guinea in their final game at 3pm today.