Steel keen to get back at Pulse

Reinga Bloxham
Reinga Bloxham
The Southern Steel has not had to wait long to get a chance to avenge its most recent loss.

Two weeks after being edged by the unbeaten Central Pulse in Wellington, it will get another opportunity against it on Wednesday.

This time Dunedin will play host as the ANZ Premiership's top two teams do battle again.

Last time the Steel started well, before fading through the middle and going down 54-50.

"I think after that last game we were a little bit disappointed in our performance at the end of the game," coach Reinga Bloxham said.

"I think it's nice we're coming up against the Pulse so quickly.

"Everything's quite fresh in our minds about what we need to do.

"They're tracking really well. They had a really convincing win [over the Northern Stars] the other night.

"They're really clinical in their approach to the game, so if we make sure that we stick to our game plan and execute that properly then I'm sure it'll be a really good game."

At the moment the team is in the middle of a 10-day period between games.

Bloxham said that it had been good to freshen up.

There were no injury concerns.

The Steel has played five of its first seven games on the road so being home had been enjoyable and players were looking forward to getting in front of the Dunedin crowd for the first time.

The Pulse has not won on Steel turf since 2014, although this may be its best chance to break that streak.

Bloxham felt disrupting the attacking flow early would be key.

From there the Steel needed to keep the intensity high - conscious that it let slip a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter two weeks ago.

"That first quarter was a result of us executing our game plan really well.

"Then I think we might have been a bit complacent with where we were at and maybe took the foot off the pedal a little bit too much.

"We just went along and played the game but didn't execute as well as we should have."

Cutting down on mistakes and absorbing the typically relentless pressure from the Pulse would be key.

"I know we had a few players that were disappointed with some personal errors in that game.

"One of the things we all weren't happy with was the cluster of errors. But that's what pressure does to you, that's what happens.

"We hadn't been in that situation in a while.

"But we've had a look at ourselves and at what we can do to make sure that doesn't happen again."


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