Samoan accuracy keep Jewels down

Today's match will not be any easier, against world number 8 Tonga.
Andrew Poolman
The unerring accuracy of Samoa’s main goal shooter was one of the factors working against Namibia’s Debmarine Desert Jewels as they lost their opening match 47-55 at the Pacific Netball Series in Brisbane, Australia yesterday.
The Pacific Series features teams from six countries, with Namibia (world ranking 20th) pitted against Fiji (15th), Samoa (18th), Singapore (24th), Tonga (8th) and the Australian First Nations invitational team.
In the opening match of the series, Samoa’s Papi Alaalatoa recorded a remarkable 100 percent strike rate on the 43 attempts she made at the goal net.
Head coach Julene Meyer’s Desert Jewels showed discipline in both attack and defence, however, Samoa's experience allowed them to win numerous turnovers on their way to lead the first quarter 17-11.
In the second quarter, Mwale Mulenamaswe performed impressively in the Namibian defence, as they started winning more turnovers and managed to contain Alaalatoa. Namibia won that quarter 12-11 to bring the score board to 23-28.
Unforced errors early in the third quarter allowed their opponents to stretch their lead to seven points, but the Namibians regained their composure and fought back, losing the quarter 13-16 (score 36-44).
In the final quarter, Samoa turned up the tempo, extending their lead to 10 points before the battling Desert Jewels found their way back. Their failure to capitalise on their turnover opportunities, led to them drawing the quarter 11-11, with Samoa’s eight-point cushion the eventual difference.
Namibia's goal shooter Anna Kaspar scored 21 out of 24 attempts, while Louise Kausehue scored 26 out of 30.
Head coach Julene Meyer found the overall performance encouraging.
“For two of the quarters we were competitive, winning one and drawing one. We have to remember that it’s the first time our players are exposed to the island nations’ style of play, which is also the global style of netball.
“We are going to grow and learn a lot on this tour. Our centre pass conversions were not on par and our attacking play was very congested. We also struggled to get around when converting to defence.
“There were good aspects, which we need to reproduce consistently. I am happy with the performance.
“Tomorrow (today) we take on Tonga, who is ranked number 8 in the world, so it doesn’t get any easier. We have no injuries to speak of, so we ae looking forward to it.”
The Debmarine Desert Jewels player squad in Australia: Elisia Hambongo, Louise Kausehue, Mianka Robberts, Anna Kaspar, Tillie Nelao Kamati, Uendjisuvera Kangumine, Imbileni Frans, Menjipe Kaveako, Venjekerera Maharero, Tjeripo Kambirongo, Monique Basson, Desdamona Tjirera, Mwale Mulenamaswe, Anna Shipanga, Cornelia Mupenda.