Bloxham happy with Steel’s performance

Reinga Bloxham
Reinga Bloxham
The Southern Steel may have come up short in its final game yesterday but coach Reinga Bloxham was more than satisfied with the workout over the weekend.

After opening the pre-season tournament in Otaki with a 63-47 win over the Northern Stars on Friday, the side had a narrow 58-56 victory over the Mystics on Saturday.

It then met the Central Pulse in the final game of the tournament yesterday and after playing well in the first half, and leading at halftime 29-27, the Steel ended up losing 59-52.

It was a game where both sides made numerous changes but the Steel got behind in the third quarter and could not catch up.

Coach Bloxham said she was pleased with the way the tournament panned out.

"It was good to be able to get everyone out on court and look at different combinations and see what the connections are like," she said.

"I think the biggest stand-out for me is we have not quite got those connections yet. A bit more work needs to be done with regards to that. But we’ve still got two weeks to get that sorted. We just need more time together. There is nothing freakishly amazing that is scaring me."

She said it was pleasing to use all the players, including the young training partners in the squad, who had stood up to the task in the matches.

New shooter Lenize Potgieter had a couple of hit-outs and Bloxham said Potgieter was learning combinations and connections.

The win over the Mystics was close. The Steel trailed at halftime but came back into the game in the third quarter and stayed in front near the end.

The Pulse was the leading team at the tournament, winning its four games though it was playing at home.

All six competition teams were at the pre-season tournament and Bloxham said that was a major benefit of the tournament as every team in the ANZ Championship displayed their sides and style.

"Now we can see all the trends of the team and see what they have got. That will help us in building our structures against other teams."

The Steel opens its campaign on February 24, against the Northern Stars in Hamilton. Bloxham said the next weeks was about training and a few practice games to get the team match-ready.

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