Storm coach leads way for PNG in Singapore

STRATHFIELDSAYE Storm head netball coach Maleta Roberts is in Singapore representing her native Papua New Guinea in a six-nation tournament.

Roberts, 28, is co-captain and goal attack for the Pacific nation's team.

Known as the Pepes, they are taking part in the 2013 Nations Cup that also features netball squads from Ireland, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Singapore and the US.

Ranked 18th in the world, the Pepes are the highest-rated team at the event and started strongly on Sunday with a win over Sri Lanka.

Roberts was in fine form, shooting an impressive 28 goals from 31 attempts.

“No match is ever easy," the Bendigo resident told Singapore Netball afterwards.

"We started off really strongly but Sri Lanka started to gain on us so we had to work really hard to maintain our lead and then extend it.”

The Pepes suffered a heart-breaking loss in their second game, going down 43-44 in the dying seconds to former Silver Ferns coach Ruth Aitken's Singapore squad.

And they gave up a 14-goal half-time lead against Uganda on Tuesday, that game ending in a draw.

PNG remains second on the ladder with group matches against the US and Ireland to come.

Roberts was born in PNG, moved to Australia as a child and represented Queensland on the netball court.

She has been in Bendigo a year and Storm is her first head coach appointment.

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