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It bounced back from an upset loss in its season opener in the most emphatic way possible last night.
A clinical performance brought up the team’s first win of 2019, beating the Mainland Tactix 66-46 in Christchurch.
The Steel opened a gap midway through the second quarter which continued to widen for the rest of the game.
The connections that were off on Sunday looked far better.
At times the attack was lethal as Shannon Saunders — in her 100th game — and Gina Crampton showed their class in finding their shooters.
Meanwhile, Lenize Potgieter shot an impressive 39/42 and proved a much easier to find target than two days ago.
Defensively, the Steel was equally devastating.
It was disruptive all night and went on several runs when the Tactix struggled to get the ball inside.
Most importantly, the Steel was able to put the Tactix away when it mattered.
Leading 35-28 at halftime, it kept the intensity high and extended that to 45-31, rather than letting the hosts back into the game.
That had been pleasing for Steel coach Reinga Bloxham, who said the side had been keen to keep its foot down.
She said improving the connections and bringing energy had been key factors.
In particular, adapting more successfully to feeding new goal shoot Potgieter had been important, she said.
‘‘One of the things we talked about, especially with Gina, Shannon and Te Paea [Selby-Rickit], was just having a bit of courage to release the ball to Lenize, trusting that she’s going to pull that ball in.
‘‘I think they did a good job of just getting quickly and letting that ball go.
‘‘She’s got very safe hands and she managed to pull the ball in.
‘‘Once you do that a couple of times, the confidence just builds.
‘‘Then it just grew and grew as the game went on.’’
She added that working hard collectively on defence had been a focus and she felt the side was ‘‘very good’’ in that area.
The Steel got off to a fast start, shooting out to a 10-3 lead six minutes into the game.
Its attack was looking far more slick and found Potgieter with ease.
That stemmed from a strong defensive start, which restricted the Tactix and enabled the Steel to attack in transition.
However, Tactix defender Jane Watson began to make her mark and the Steel became sloppy.
At the other end, the Tactix attack began to flourish and the score was tied at 16-16 on the first play of the second quarter.
However, the Steel would not let the Tactix in front, grinding away for seven minutes, before finally getting a break and opening another lead.
Five straight goals left the Steel ahead at 28-23.
That grew to 35-28 at halftime, as youngsters Taneisha Fifita and Georgia Heffernan both made an impact on being injected.
Fifita continued to be disruptive in the defensive circle and was key as the Steel pulled away.
It controlled the third quarter, turning over ball at will and pulling out to a 52-36 lead.
That continued into the fourth quarter as the Steel streaked out to a 20-goal victory.