‘It’s unreal’: Frew ends 16-year career in triumph

Steel players and staff celebrate after winning the ANZ Premiership grand final at Fly Palmy...
Steel players and staff celebrate after winning the ANZ Premiership grand final at Fly Palmy Arena in Palmerston North yesterday. Pictured: (front from left) coach Reinga Bloxham, assistant coach Lauren Piebenga, Shannon Francois, captain Wendy Frew, Gina Crampton, Olivia Bates, Courtney Elliott, manager Dayna Kaio, (back from left) Kate Heffernan, Te Huinga Selby-Rickit, Jennifer O’Connell, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Dani Gray, Abby Erwood and physio Corina Ngatuere. Photo: Michael Bradley
What a way for Wendy Frew to sign off.

The Southern Steel captain completed a remarkable 16-year career with — if that was possible — an even more remarkable win in her final game.

Her side defended its ANZ Premiership title yesterday, scoring the final seven goals to beat the Central Pulse 54-53 in Palmerston North.

The Steel trailed the whole way and at one point was down 21-10.

It ate back into that deficit gradually, but it took until the final minute to get back within one.

A held-ball call against the Pulse with a minute left then gave the Steel the ball for Jennifer O’Connell to tie the score. 

Seconds later Te Paea Selby-Rickit sank the winning goal with 25 seconds to go, sending Frew off as a back-to-back champion.

"It’s unreal — it’s like a dream come true winning that game," Frew said.

"All week I just really wanted to win and to come in that situation and get the win, it’s just the best feeling."

She said while the situation had looked unlikely the team never lost belief.

Indeed she exhibited that when she crashed over the courtside signage to win a loose ball midway through the third quarter.

That hustle showed how much she wanted the win and she said it might have been her career highlight.

"It would be right up there," Frew said.

"Last year going through unbeaten, that was primo, and I had some great wins with the Sting.

"But in the circumstances, being down by seven [in the fourth quarter] and the last game of my career, it was right up there for sure."

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