THE Fiji under-21 netball side has been praised for its effort despite losing its second match to Australia in the World Youth Netball Championship in Glasgow, Scotland yesterday.
The Raijeli Daveua-skippered side went down fighting 32-71 to the defending champions at the Emirates Arena.
The national side made a good start in the championship winning its opening match against Namibia 61-36 on Saturday.
The Baby Pearls recorded its first loss to South Africa 32-64 on Sunday before succumbing to Australia and will play Israel early today in their final pool match.
Daveua guided her troops with exceptional skills and defended well against tall Australian shooter Kristina Brice.
"A phenomenal performance by Fiji held giants Australia at bay in their closest game yet," reported Planet Netball.
"All the Fijians stepped up to the mark to deliver the performance of their lives."
Australia coach Carol Byers was impressed with the Fijian team's performance.
"They played really well. They got some intercepts and shot well and made us work really hard," she said.
Fiji coach Unaisi Rokoura hailed the players for the great performance and hoped the side would finish on a better position this year.
"I'm over the moon for these players. We played from the first quarter right to the end."
Youngest Fiji team player Wainikiti Taoi said the experience of playing against a top team like Australia was overwhelming.
"Being the youngest in the team is very challenging, it's tough sometimes but my sisters always help me out through their experience," she said.
"It is awesome being here as well as challenging but it's a great experience.
"As expected the match (against Australia) was tough but we wanted to give our best fight and didn't want them to have an easy win."
Fiji U21: Unaisi Rauluni (Co-Vice Captain), Afa Rusivakula, Losalini Tuifagalele, Kula Tabete (Co-Vice Captain), Louise Bereso, Wasela Bogi, Esther Kim, Deborah Delana, Wainikiti Taoi, Jane Costello, Anaseini Rusivakula, Raijeli Daveua (Captain).