Fiji Time: 5:52 AM on Sunday 23 October

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Better play

Emoni Narawa
Sunday, May 11, 2014

FORMER Australian Diamonds superstar Mo'onia Gerrard is impressed with the standard of netball in Fiji.

However, she felt that playing more games against quality teams will certainly help players flourish at international level.

Gerrard, who was a key member of the triumphant Diamonds team that clinched the 2011 World Netball Championship in Singapore, believes that Pacific Island teams have the material to match top teams at international events.

"I'm impressed with the standard I've seen with the Fijian girls," she said.

"The last time I saw them was in 2010 where they played against PNG and Samoa and the other Pacific Island teams.

"I think the more time they get to exposed to higher teams, play more games against quality teams, then we'll see more improvements."

Gerrard was impressed with Fiji's mid-court combination of Alesi Waqa (WA) and Vaiti Waqatabu (C).

She said the duo displayed exceptional skills which was instrumental in Fiji's victories.

"There are some surprises from Fiji. I'm really impressed with the Wing Attack (WA - Waqa) and Centre (C - Waqatabu). They got skills."

The 33-year-old, who is the elder sibling of former Wallaby Mark Gerrard, coached the Tongan national team at the Digicel Tri-Series tournament where they played against Fiji A.

"I'm here helping the Tongan team. I just want to develop as many coaches and development officers back in Tonga so they can take the sport down to grassroots level."

Tonga lost its final game to Fiji A 30-49 at the Vodafone Arena on Friday night.

Gerrard is looking forward to guiding Tonga to more tours to Fiji in the future.

She is also pursuing a rugby career with the hope of representing Australia at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

She traded her netball skirts with rugby boost last year.

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