Steel buoyed, but wary of getting ahead of itself

Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit
Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit
Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit knows the Southern Steel has to lift again.

The side put on an impressive display to topple the unbeaten Central Pulse 62-52 in Invercargill on Monday.

It was a huge confidence boost for the Steel, having lost by 16 goals to the same opponent a month ago.

The result mirrored last year's effort.

After two hefty losses, the Steel bounced back to beat the Pulse in Invercargill, before snatching the title at the death in a tense final.

Monday's win, and its emphatic nature, certainly sets up a similar scenario.

However, co-captain Selby-Rickit was cautious and said an even bigger display would be needed in three weeks time.

''I feel like [the Pulse are] better than that,'' she said.

''They'll look at this, learn from it, dump it and move on.

''They will not let what happened last year happen ever again.

''I know how much that would have hurt them.

''They'll be deadly if we meet them in the final.

''So we're going to have to ramp it up another couple of levels, because I think they will.''

Despite that, she said it remained a ''huge'' result.

The Steel had looked flustered on attack at times in its previous two matches against the Pulse.

On this occasion it calmly worked the ball and took its time finding its shooters.

Meanwhile, the Pulse struggled with the Steel's defensive pressure.

Selby-Rickit was to the fore of that, coming up with several big intercepts when it mattered.

While that was nice, it was the team effort that pleased the goal keep.

Staying in control for 60 minutes had been the main issue in the previous games.

It had gone into lulls and the Pulse pounced to take the game away from the Steel.

While the team had felt it was capable of a big win if it all came together, that was easier said than done.

Now not only has it seen it is capable of the consistency needed, that consistency can net a win against the competition's top-placed side.

''We know that winning all your games is a huge - we did that two years ago and it helps you in the finals. It's good mentally.

''But now we know, and they know, that we can win.

''We know if we play well and stick to our processes, do what we say we're going to do, we can have a good score like that.

''It's not everything. When you get to the final it's a clean slate, but we'll take confidence from that and hopefully take it all the way to the final game - if we make it.''


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