Steel seeking to quickly make amends

Reinga Bloxham
Reinga Bloxham
The Steel will play the Pulse for the second time in six days and would not have it any other way.

The Southerners have a point to prove.

After pressing the defending champion for three tense quarters last Saturday, the Steel crumbled in the final period to lose 47-40.

It had led 35-33 and had played arguably some of its best netball this season.

The late capitulation did not sit well with the team and having the opportunity to redeem itself straight away has been welcomed by the coach Reinga Bloxham.

"Actually, we are looking forward to it because we know we let ourselves down a little bit last week," she said.

"We were really competitive for three quarters of the game, but we need to make sure we bring it for the whole 48 minutes."

The quarters have been cut from 15 minutes to 12 minutes this season, which mean teams have less time to catch up if they have a poor patch.

"You can’t just put it down to one thing. There was a number of errors that were made by several players," Bloxham said when asked what went wrong during the final period.

"We knew that in some of our previous games we’d had moments when we’d made errors, so we knew we couldn’t do that against the Pulse.

"A lot of it was about personal errors, but it is also about each of us stepping up as leaders and taking control of our roles."

On the whole, Bloxham felt her side had made good progress and she was starting to see tangible improvements.

The trouble is the Steel needs to climb the competition standings if it is going to make the grand final in Invercargill on August 23.

The team is in last place with just one win from five games.

"The thing I’ve been really pleased with is we are actually improving with every performance.

"If we had not made gains and were just doing the same stuff over and over again then I think I’d be pretty gutted about that.

"But I feel like we’ve got into some good positions and we’ve been growing."

It is worth pointing out the Pulse produced a flawless shooting display to beat the Steel. Neither Aliyah Dunn or Ameliaranne Ekenasio missed, while the defensive trio of Katrina Rore, Kelly Jury and Karin Burger generated more turnovers on defence.

The Steel’s shooting was at a high level as well, but the side will need to make more gains on defence.

Shooter Georgia Heffernan has been ruled out for the season. She injured her knee during the Steel’s 49-47 win against the Northern Stars late last month.

She has been replaced in the side by Kiana Pelasio, and Kate Hartley comes into the squad as mid-court cover for the double-header weekend.

The Steel will play the Northern Stars tomorrow evening.


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