League: Away game new challenge

South will hit the road today for the first time this season as it prepares to take on Central in a top-of-the-table national league clash in Wellington.

The southern side has won two of its three home matches at Stadium Southland in Invercargill to start the season, beating Northern and Waikato-Bay of Plenty and going down to Mainland by just one point.

It is second on the competition ladder, just one point behind the tournament leader.

The league is in its first season and has presented new challenges to its inaugural group of players, with increased exposure and televised matches.

Coach Lauren Piebenga said tomorrow's game at Wellington's Walter Nash Centre would provide more excitement for the group.

"It's a new challenge for us and we're looking forward to getting up there and settling in.''

The 10-strong side will travel to Wellington this morning.

It will again have the services of Steel-contracted player Abby Erwood, but will be without fellow Steel squad member Jamie Hume, who stayed on in Adelaide after the side's ANZ Championship match against the Thunderbirds last week.

Piebenga said her side had been keeping an eye on Central when it could throughout the season and had taken note of its strengths.

The side suffered two narrow losses to start the season but bounced back to record convincing wins over Northern and Mainland over the past two weeks.

"They're certainly coming into some form and they've really hit their straps in the last couple of games.

"They've got a really big defensive presence and that will test us this weekend.''But Piebenga said South was confident heading into the game, following a good performance in its last outing.

"We're just looking at doing our own job well and making sure we're accountable and accurate in what we're doing on the court.''

damian.george@odt.co.nz

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