Pepes go down to Cooks, Samoa

The PNG Pepes’ hopes of qualifying for the 2019 Netball World Cup look slim after two losses at this week’s Regional Qualifier in New Zealand.

In their opening match on Tuesday, the Pepes pushed Cook Islands all the way and by half-time were only trailing by two points.

But time ran out for the Pepes with the Cooks clinging on to win 54-51.

Yesterday’s encounter against hot favourites Samoa was always going to be a tough ask and despite a late fight back, the Samoans proved the better side with a 52-41 score line to remain unbeaten.

Day three will see the Pepes take on Tonga at 7pm (5pm PNG time) tonight, while Fiji will play Cook Islands.

The Regional Qualifier, which is being played in a round robin format, will end this Saturday with only the top two to advance to the World Cup.

The last time Papua New Guinea were at a World Cup was in Birmingham 1995, which was also the last time the World Cup was held in England.

Troy Taule