NZ selection no comfort for Crampton

A trip to Liverpool is no consolation to missing out on one to Porirua.

Perhaps that was Gina Crampton's emotion talking, but it does show how much the Southern Steel means to the wing attack.

The Steel co-captain was visibly gutted after Wednesday night's 56-53 elimination final loss to the Northern Stars in Invercargill.

Not even her spot in the squad for July's World Cup made up for the disappointment.

"No, not at all,'' she said of whether it was any consolation.

"I'd much rather be in that final and going for the trophy.

"But it's something to focus on still for the next couple of weeks.''

The Steel had been the form team heading into the game and had beaten the Stars by 17 goals a week ago.

But this time around the Stars brought an added intensity.

Their defence proved hard to breach and after a slow third quarter, they pulled away early in the fourth.

Crampton agreed the third quarter let the Steel down, and felt it did not adapt to the game.

"I think it was a bit of them - definitely credit to them. They had good defensive structures.

"But we were playing into their hands a wee bit.

"Just things like not being strong enough on the catch, the umpires were letting contesting go in the air and we were coming off second best.

"So it was pretty tough from that point of view.''

While the team launched a fourth quarter comeback, it came up one turnover too short.

Crampton said the side had left its run too late.

The Stars are a tough team to get ball off and the Steel was unable to get its hands on enough.

It had been a drastic turnaround in the space of a week.

The Stars had won just one game in their past eight, while the Steel had won seven in a row.

"I don't know if we were a bit comfortable and thought we'd be fine,'' Crampton said.

"I really hope that's not the case but it kind of feels like that a wee bit.

"I don't know - they definitely showed up, the Stars, and we didn't.''

She would still watch Monday's final and said she would love the Stars to win.

However, she thought the Central Pulse would be too strong.


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