Crampton’s aim: adjust to changes

Gina Crampton. Photo: Getty Images
Gina Crampton. Photo: Getty Images
Steel co-captain Gina Crampton is keen to avoid another third-quarter meltdown like the one against the Tactix last week.

There is some work to do on defence and the structures need refining as well. But the main lesson before the double-header in Auckland this weekend is teams cannot afford to play catch-up netball.

Three minutes each quarter has been shaved from the game and the Steel found out the hard way how costly that can be if a team falls behind.

Its match against the Tactix on Saturday was evenly poised at halftime.

But the talented Christchurch-based team outscored the Steel two-to-one in the crucial third period to set up a 43-36 win.

It has been a big part of the focus this week for the Steel as it prepares to play the Mystics tonight and the Northern Stars tomorrow.

"Obviously, the third quarter was very disappointing. That was something we needed to discuss and try and make sure that that doesn’t happen again," Crampton said.

"But also, we did not get enough gains on defence to give us a really good shot of winning the game. That is going to be a focus for us this weekend."

In the past the Steel may have been able to claw its way back after a poor quarter. But that is more of a challenge with 12 minutes in total pruned from the game.

"If definitely feels a lot faster. You think you are part way through the quarter and there is only a couple of minutes to go.

"It also means you don’t have as much time to chase teams down. That is going to be a big factor for the season.

"[Being able to catch up] has definitely been something we’ve relied on in the past but now you don’t have those extra minutes to be able to come up with something else. That is definitely a lesson for us."

Crampton said the camp was not too down about the loss to the Tactix, which looks a side capable of reaching the final this season.

The Steel produced a solid effort in the opening half and there was some good signs the connection between import shooter Kalifa McCollin and the feeders was progressing well.

Those combinations will be important as the Steel searches for its first win this season.

"I think each week we are getting more and more used to each other. When we can get the combination going with her and Jen [O’Connell] at the back, then I think we will be in a lot better position."


ANZ Premiership

Steel v Mystics, today, 5pm

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