Netball: Southern Steel confirm status as best New Zealand team

By Michael Brown

Southern Steel 69 West Coast Fever 62
Goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid has been excellent for the Southern Steel. Photo / Getty
Goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid has been excellent for the Southern Steel. Photo / Getty

They might have shown they can beat New Zealand teams but today the Steel added their first Australian side to their list of side's beaten in this year's ANZ Championship.

The 69-62 win in Invercargill also confirmed their status as the best New Zealand side in the competition. Their record now stands at four wins and one draw, head and shoulders ahead of the Tactix and Pulse who each have a win and a draw.

The Steel took control in the second quarter. They led narrowly 17-16 after the first period but won the second quarter 20-11 to take a 10-point halftime lead. Noeline Taurua's side maintained that advantage for most of the rest of the match until a late surge by the Fever caused some anxiety.

Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who stands at 1.98m, again highlighted how important she is to the Steel's success, landing 59 goals from 65 attempts. She enjoyed some good service and had an exemplary first half with 30 goals from 30 attempts.

Caitlin Bassett was equally significant at the other end, nailing 44 goals from 48 attempts, but the Steel defence of Storm Purvis and Jane Watson made life difficult in the shooting circle and the home side managed 15 deflections to the Fever's seven.

There will considerable interest in tonight's other game between the Queensland Firebirds and NSW Swifts, which is not only a repeat of last season's nail-biting grand final won by the Firebirds but also a clash of the competition's top two teams.

Tomorrow's games see the Vixens host the winless Magic and the Pulse take on the Tactix. The Mystics are at home to the Thunderbirds on Monday night.

- NZ Herald

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