Strong defence key element of win

Reinga Bloxham
Reinga Bloxham
Having more ball than your opponent goes a long way towards winning a netball game.

That was demonstrated by the Southern Steel in a 67-48 thrashing of the Northern Mystics in Auckland on Saturday.

It was the Steel's second big win in as many games, a telling response after a first-up loss.

Defensively, the Steel brought intensity, forcing

mistakes from the Mystics attack and creating turnover ball, which allowed its own attack to flourish through the open court.

That resulted in the Mystics attempting just 59 goals, as opposed to the Steel's 86.

Those numbers negated the Mystics' superior shooting percentage of 81%, in contrast to the Steel's 77%.

The Steel's midcourt trio had an impressive day.

They were lightning through the court and delivered some brilliant ball to their shooters.

The connections with new goal shoot Lenize Potgieter, while not perfect, appear to be far stronger than a week ago.

That was evident as they found her with ease, for her to score 48 goals.

Centre Shannon Saunders was everywhere, snaffling several intercepts and feeding well.

Meanwhile, young wing defence Kate Heffernan was equally good at disrupting the Mystics' attack.

Steel coach Reinga Bloxham said it was good to finish a busy week with a convincing win.

However, she felt it was important not to rely on having such a big advantage in goal attempts.

"I think when you can have that many more shots than them, we must be putting a lot of pressure on," she said.

"But something we need to work on is that conversion rate, knowing that going forward we might not get so many second opportunities."

She said the connections on attack were continuing to build, which was good.

However, she felt there were still aspects the side could improve on.

"I think probably a few times when we got turnover ball we were a bit loose with ball.

"I think we could have worked a little bit harder to prepare ourselves to receive the pass.

"We did talk about that at halftime and when we did it it looked great.

"We just have to do it more consistently."

The Steel started well, shooting out to a 7-2 lead.

The Mystics fought back to 10-10, but a run of five goals helped the Steel out to 19-15 at the first break.

The momentum continued in the second quarter and the lead grew to 11, before the Steel went to halftime up 35-25.

It piled on the goals in the third quarter and cruised through to a convincing win in the fourth.

In the curtain-raiser, the Southern Blast beat the Northern Marvels 61-57 to open its Beko League campaign.


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