Steel set for Super Club semi; may miss Frew

Wendy Frew.
Wendy Frew.
There is a chance Steel captain Wendy Frew might not take the court for tonight's Super Club semifinal against the Central Pulse in Nelson.

The veteran midcourter arrived at the tournament late and remained on the sideline during the convincing 66-51 against the Tactix on Tuesday night.

Whether she plays or not is up to her. Coach Reinga Bloxham is of no mind to twist her arm.

The midcourter has chalked up 16 seasons for the Steel and its predecessor the Sting during a distinguished career.

Last year Frew ruptured her Achilles tendon during the Super Club final, but battled back from injury to help the Steel secure its second premiership crown.

''I'll probably have that conversation with her later on today about how she is feeling and if she even wants to take the court,'' Bloxham said.

''She has nothing to prove here. And I suppose for her this place does not have the best memories as well.

''I think it is really important that we are led by how she is feeling. But whether she is on the court or not, she still provides leadership in our group.''

The Steel could certainly use Frew. The game is a rematch of the ANZ Premiership final.

The Steel scored the last six goals to snatch victory in that match, and tonight's game promises to be another thriller.

The Steel is not quite back to that type of form, but it did produce its best effort of the tournament in the must-win match against the Tactix, when

it cleared out with a third-quarter scoring spree.

Bloxham said the Steel had learned not to fire off two-point shots - two-pointers are allowed in the Super Club tournament - before settling into the game, and that perhaps the best time to take a few risks was when the team had built a small buffer.

The first chance to follow that script came after the halftime break, with the Steel leading by four. Olivia Bates found her range from the two-point zone and the lead quickly mounted.

''That third quarter was just amazing. Olivia just shot beautifully to help build that lead.''

Fellow shooter Jen O'Connell was building her total one at a time and her haul of 44 from 50 attempts set-up the win.

Her development this season has really impressed Bloxham.

''She has just grown as the season has gone on. To be fair she has had so much information throughout the season from lots of different people and ... I think it is a real credit to the person that she is that she has had this real ability to take that on board.

''She has gone from strength to strength and I still think she has more to come.''

The Heffernan twins - Kate and Georgia - have shown how capable they are at the next level. Kate has been in menacing form in the midcourt, while Georgia is unflappable in
the shooting circle.

''Georgia has had a really great week. She has been thrown out on that court under some pressure situations and she has just shot the ball so nicely, and Kate is [improving] her game every time she goes out there.''

While parts of the Steel's game has improved since the disappointing 65-61 loss to South Africa's Gauteng Jaguars, Bloxham said her team needs to lift its conversion rate and concentrate on scoring from its centre pass - whether that be a two-pointer or the standard one-point goal.

New South Wales and the Mainland Tactix will contest the early semifinal.


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