Australia

Diamonds beat Silver Ferns in cliffhanger

Australia have dominated New Zealand in recent times, winning seven of eight clashes since the start of 2018.

But the Silver Ferns are a new-look unit and refused to give up after being down by as many as nine goals at one point.

Coach Noeline Taurua started with her strongest line-up, with Maria Folau at GS and Ameliaranne Ekenasio at GA.

It was fairly evenly poised early on but the Diamonds ended the first quarter with a burst, leading 13-10 at the first break.

Australia sets new record in men’s 400 metres

Australia’s Steven Solomon has broken a 22-year-old Pacific Games record in the men’s 400 metres after he came first with a time of 45.62seconds.

The previous record of 46.42 was set by Fiji’s, Koloveni Koroi back in 1997.

Papua New Guinea’s Daniel Baul came second in 47.31 and team mate Benjamin Aliel finished third in 47.63.

PNG continued to be favourites after Toea Wisil sprinted to her 13th Pacific Games gold medal.

The newly crowned 100m champion, who first competed at the Pacific Games in Samoa in 2007, earned the women’s 400m title in 53.90.

Australia, NZ voted onto Pacific Games Council

The Trans Tasman neighbours were first invited to compete in four sports at the 2015 Games in Papua New Guinea, with that number doubling to eight sports for the current Games in Samoa.

But the CEO of the Pacific Games Council, Andrew Minogue said under that arrangement both countries, who also took a limited part in the 2017 Mini Games, had no standing at all in the Council framework and constitution.

"What we did today was we formally admitted both Olympic Committees as associate members of the Council, so they now have a much easier pathway to competing. "

Education officer impressed

Hilary Hughes spent two months as part of the sister-zoo partnership program with Port Moresby Nature Park.

“I’ve been with the team for the past two months – observing lesson delivery and monitoring the consistency, helping to improve programs and develop more activities for the kids. I was truly blown away by the enthusiasm and interest amongst children who have come to the Nature Park through the schools excursion program,” Hughes said.

Australia clinch semi-final spot

The reigning champions secured a sixth win from seven games by claiming a 64-run triumph at Lord's, Finch scoring 100 in their 285-7 before Australia's seamers starred, dismissing England for 221 inside 45 overs.

Finch (100) was part of a 123-run opening stand with David Warner (53) but Australia did not build on their early momentum having been 185-2 in the 36th over, with middle-order trio Steve Smith (38), Glenn Maxwell (12) and Marcus Stoinis (8) all unable to kick on.

PM puts Aust on notice

In today’s Parliament sitting, Northern Governor Gary Juffa said the company, which was awarded a $423 million contract “under very strange circumstances”, and without the PNG Government’s input, is about to have its contract renewed.

“I’d like to know, what is the PNG Government’s position in relation to this particular matter? Are we just going to sit by and let foreign governments come and dictate what they and their companies will do in this country?

CWC preview: England v Australia

The identity of the top four appeared to be a foregone conclusion at one stage, only for the tournament hosts to slip up against Sri Lanka at Headingley last Friday.

A surprise 20-run loss in Leeds means England are suddenly under a spot of pressure, though Morgan showed few signs of nerves when speaking to the media on the eve of Tuesday's clash with the Australians.

"Primarily it's trying to keep things as simple as possible. Being truthful and honest with our previous performance and trying to learn and rectify the performance almost immediately," the batsman said.

Australia extends help to Pacific on maritime zones

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said through its Office of the Pacific, the Australian government has established a dedicated Pacific maritime boundaries section to work closely with Pacific nations and help them secure their rights and entitlements stemming from maritime zones.

She said Canberra is providing additional funding of $US2.4 million to the Pacific Community for addressing the risks to maritime boundaries from sea-level rise, and other climate change related impacts.

Ms Payne said Australia has now spent a total of $US5.9 million on Pacific maritime boundaries.

Inspired India end Australia's run

In an atmosphere more accustomed to Bangalore or Chennai than a suburb of south London, Virat Kohli's side produced an impressive performance that, if there were any doubts beforehand, underlined why they are serious contenders for glory in England.

The battle between bat and ball was as lopsided as the one in the stands, as India’s fans outnumbered their Australian counterparts to such a degree that a game of 'Spot The Aussie' would have kept you busy during the quieter periods of the contest.

Call for bold move by Australia to improve Pacific relationship

But observers said no substantial change is expected for Australia's engagement in the region after the Coalition's surprise win at the weekend.

Shane McLeod of the Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, said Australia's so-called Pacific step up, a suite of policies and funding initiatives brought in in 2017, will likely continue.

But he said with losses on the hard right, there may be more room for the government to manoeuvre on climate change.