Australia and New Zealand heading for top spots

By Jone Kalouniviti

DAY three of competition-solidified predictions of Australia heading towards show downs against New Zealand as both teams moved their game up a level.

The two games a day schedule is slowly takings its toll on Fiji and the Cook Islanders.

The Opening game saw New Zealand U23 beat Fiji 47-29 but it was a much-improved performance by the hosts who obviously seemed lacking in match experience and basic foot working.

According, to team coach Alavina Waqa this would only be implemented through more competitions.

"But every game has seen a marked improvement, we have to remember these boys are playing at this level for the first time,'' said the former double international.

The Kiwis combined well to gain possession but had the menacing Sekonaia Kalou to deal with when trying to score.

Goal Keeper Kalou who eventually had to be cautioned in the 3rd quarter used his height to his advantage collecting rebounds and making his opponents work hard inside the circle.

Kalou's strong defense saw the Kiwis resorting to shooting from wide out which Kevin Bell did comfortably slotting in 18 points while his pair goal shooter Hori Waaka scored 29 points.

Fiji lost a lot of balls in the first three quarters, which saw them, losing confidence.

Fiji got to playing their best in the final quarter with former Nadroga rugby lock forward Apenisa Kubuituva scoring 9 of Fiji's 12 points against New Zealands 11.


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