Pacific sports news in brief

The teams for the football semi-finals are now known, the big start for Oceania Pacific in the tennis event and the Olympic officials are in Tahiti

Auckland come from behind to beat tough Cook Islanders

In football, Auckland City overcame a first-half scare to beat Cook Islands’ Nikao Sokattak 4-1 to claim three wins from three in Group B of the Oceania Champions League.

Stephen Willis’ goal briefly threatened to come as a surprise before a brace from Gerard Garriga and goals from Joe Lee and Matt Ellis secured first place and a meeting with Central Coast FC of the Solomon Islands in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Auckland City, in blue, against Nikao Sokattak
Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

The New Caledonians of Hienghène Sport will face the Tahitians of AS Vénus in the other semi-final on Sunday.

Meanwhile, after their semi-final appearances at the recent Oceania Women’s Nations Cup, Solomon Islands and Samoa have moved up the latest FIFA World Rankings.

Solomon Islands jumped 15 places to 105 while Samoa moved up 10 places to 99.

Tennis teams are off to winning starts

Oceania Pacific got off to the perfect start in their quest to earn Davis Cup promotion by beating Iran 3-0 without dropping a set.

Clement Mainguy of Vanuatu won the opening match 6-4, 6-4 before Colin Sinclair of Northern Marianas also won their draw in straight sets.

The doubles pair of Gillian Osmont of Tahiti and Brett Baudinet of the Cook Islands overcame their opponents for a 3-0 win.

It was a partnership with a vast chasm of experience – Osmont was making his Davis Cup debut, Baudinet was playing his 61st Davis Cup encounter.

Oceania Pacific will next face the United Arab Emirates, who lost their opener against Saudi Arabia.

The Oceania Pacific women’s team won two matches and lost one in their section of the Billie Jean King Cup, also held in Vietnam.

The team started with a 3-0 loss to top-seeded Thailand but bounced back with a 3-0 win over the Maldives – without losing a single game – and another 3-0 win over Singapore.

They still have a group game against Malaysia.

Olympic officials visit Tahiti

The boss of the Paris 2024 Olympics organizing committee will begin a five-day visit to French Polynesia on Friday.

This will be Tony Estanguet’s first since Tahiti was chosen to host the surfing competition.

He and his delegation will inspect Teahupoo which is one of the regular stops on the world professional surf circuit.

Estanguet will also meet the authorities, athletes and locals, and will conclude his stay by signing an agreement formalizing the event.

Meanwhile, the Outerknown Tahiti Pro 2022 surf event has been postponed for two days in hopes of getting bigger waves.

Tournament director Renato Hickel told the World Surf League that 2.5m waves are expected next week..

PNG marks great efforts of the Games team

The Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee celebrated Team PNG’s efforts at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The general secretary of the committee, Auvita Rapilla, congratulated the team on their achievements, including a silver medal and several national records.

Rapilla said the Commonwealth Games are a very high level competition and athletes from PNG have had limited exposure over the past two years.

She said it was a very difficult two years for the country’s athletes, who were trying to compete in the competitions necessary to prepare for such a competition.

The PNG team competed in weightlifting, swimming, athletics, squash, table tennis and boxing.

Morea Baru, a silver medalist in weightlifting, won Team PNG’s only medal in the men’s 61kg.

Ruth J. Leeds