Steel pipped at post in preseason clash

A tenacious showing from the Tactix snatched bragging rights over the Southern Steel with a 56-55 win in Queenstown last night.

They say not to place too much emphasis on preseason results but it does not detract from the importance of the fixture.

Steel head coach Reinga Bloxham hailed the game a success.

"The opportunity to see how the players react and perform under the pressure of actual game play is incredibly important at this stage of the season," she said.

‘‘There’s just no substitute for it.

"We have several new players on our 2022 roster and it was great to see them out on court in Steel colours, executing their roles well.

"There’s always plenty scribbled [in] a coach’s notebook to work on and I’m excited to see what this team can achieve as our campaign progresses."

In many ways, the game was a classic South Island derby.

The Tactix dominated early, boasting an 9-1 advantage courtesy of some robust defence.

In stark contrast, the host team squandered precious turnover ball and initially struggled to make a dent on the scoreboard.

The Ascot Park Hotel-sponsored Steel’s fortunes changed in the second spell with a determined effort earning a 29-27 edge at halftime, Silver Fern Kate Heffernan proving an influential link through the court.

A tit-for-tat battle ensued during the third phase with the southerners maintaining a slight 44-42 buffer heading into the final quarter.

Both teams responded admirably to an increase in intensity but the Tactix reigned supreme due to a trademark snaffle from Kimiora Poi in the dying stages.

The Steel’s next preseason assignment is against the Pulse in Dunedin on Thursday.

The sold-out game is restricted to 100 spectators, but will be live-streamed on the team’s Facebook page.



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