Opals beat New Zealand to secure spot in Championships

THE Opals sealed a place in next year's women's world championships in Turkey by downing New Zealand 84-66 in Canberra yesterday to complete a 2-0 sweep of the Oceania Championships.

Led by Lauren Jackson (21 points, seven rebounds) and Belinda Snell (17 points), the Aussies came from behind just before half-time to blow away their shorter and less experienced rivals.

With Toni Edmondson (26 points) and Micaela Cocks (25 points) on fire early, the Tall Ferns led 34-28 late in the second quarter, before the home side went on an 11-0 run to take a 39-34 lead into the main break.


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