History on Steel’s side versus Magic

The Steel will have history on its side when it hosts the Magic in its season-opening ANZ Premiership match in Dunedin tonight.

In nine previous Premiership encounters, the Magic is yet to register a win. The Steel notched a 63-48 win in Hamilton in the most recent match.

The Steel also has a solid record in Dunedin. It has won four of the six games at the venue.

But none of that will count for anything once the players get on court. And the Magic did beat the Steel during a pre-season tournament in Otaki.

Three Steel stalwarts will register the milestone of 50 ANZ Premiership games.

Steel coach Reinga Bloxham is one of three foundation coaches to be leading her team into a fourth season.

She will notch a half -century of games alongside midcourter Gina Crampton and defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit

The Magic has five new faces this season, Georgia Tong (Beko Netball League), Holly Fowler (Stars), Georgia Marshall (Australia), Erena Mikaere (Mystics) and Whitney Souness (Pulse) joining the team.

Marshall has temporarily replaced the injured Monica Falkner.

The Steel is a little more settled but fans will be anxious to see how Trinidad and Tobago international Kalifa McCollin shapes up in the shooting circle, especially with experienced shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit now at the Tactix.

Jen O’Connell will want to make the most of her opportunities this season having been benched for most of last season. Her combination with McCollin will be critical.

But the tussle in the midcourt shapes as crucial — the Steel has a quality midcourt led by Silver Ferns pair Gina Crampton and Shannon Saunders.

The match begins at 7.15.

In other games, the Central Pulse beat the Mainland Tactix 53-41 in Blenheim while the Northern Mystics downed the Northern Stars 59-55 in Auckland .


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