SAR fall to Tonga in opener

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 September, 1999, 12:00am

Hong Kong lost to Tonga in their opening match of the World Championship - but have a chance to gain quick revenge.

Unknown quantity Tonga proved too strong for the SAR in a 57-32 victory yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand.

Hong Kong could turn the tables tomorrow. The quirks of the draw mean that Hong Kong play the loser of the Group C encounter between Northern Ireland and Tonga.

'Hong Kong had a fantastic start but the Tongans proved too strong and fast for us in the end,' said Hong Kong coach Diane McDonald. 'We had a very even first quarter but they gained in confidence after a six-goal turnaround. It was hard to close the gap on them.

'Unforced errors cost us the game but we hope to eliminate these errors in our next game,' she said.

'The Tongans have some very accurate shooters and I think they will finish on top of their pool. We're looking forward to our next match.' McDonald said she was still pleased with Hong Kong's shooters, Victoria Pascoe and Lynley Solomon, who played consistently for four quarters.

The World Championship was thrown into disarray when two nations failed to send teams, forcing a reshuffle in fixtures.

Pakistan and Botswana failed to turn up, while Malawi only arrived yesterday.