Bloxham defends O'Connell call

Reinga Bloxham.
Reinga Bloxham.
It was a change many will question, but one Reinga Bloxham does not regret.

Star goal shoot Lenize Potgieter was replaced by Jennifer O'Connell with four minutes remaining in last night's third quarter.

It led 39-38 at the time.

However, what followed was the Southern Steel's biggest collapse in last night's ANZ Premiership elimination final loss to the Northern Stars.

Potgieter returned four minutes into the fourth quarter with the team trailing by six.

The Steel mounted a comeback and got the deficit back to two, but came up short.

The initial change had come as a result of the probing Stars defence making it difficult for the Steel to feed its shooters.

Throughout the third quarter the attack had stalled and Bloxham had felt the side was struggling to see Potgieter.

She thought a taller shooter may have been easier to see, so gave O'Connell a chance.

While it had worked at times, the Stars defence had been smothering.

It had been a big call to bring O'Connell on at a key point of the game and under intense pressure, after only playing intermittedly bits all season.

''I don't regret making the change,'' Bloxham said.

''I think we had to make some sort of change at the time.

''We took too long to adapt to it.

''We lacked that speed we normally have on attack and that was credit to the Stars defence.''

Potgieter remained on the bench for the beginning of the fourth quarter as the game slipped away.

She returned and made an immediate impact, prompting the question of whether her reintroduction should have come earlier.

''I think it did work when she came back on, which was great. We did get a bit of momentum.

''We just needed one more turnover ball, but weren't able to do that.

''Hindsight's a nice thing, but I'll stick with the changes we made.

''I thought she came back on and made a good impact.''

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