Netball: Southern Steel defeats Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in ANZ Premiership
Southern Steel by Taneisha Fifita triumphed over Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic by Caitlin Bassett. Photo / Getty
A dominant 65-50 victory over the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in Invercargill on Monday night saw the Southern Steel move up to third in the ANZ Premiership standings.
This is the tenth consecutive defeat for the Magic who failed to put real pressure on a Steel unit in charge.
All eyes were on Steel’s Grace Namana who replaced star shooter George Fisher, who was unavailable after suffering a concussion in last week’s game against the Northern Stars. The newcomer stood firm against Magic’s defense and succeeded 35 of 38 attempts.
She was helped by an MVP performance by goal attack Tiana Metaurau who only missed one shot.
Another bad start hit the Waikato-Bay of Plenty team who suffered a series of offensive errors to give Steel a seven-goal lead after the first quarter. The deficit proved insurmountable for the last-place Magic, and a series of solid defensive plays from Steel duo Taneisha Fifita and Sarahpheinna Woulf throughout the game provided constant disruption.
Caitlin Bassett’s departure late in the first quarter allowed the Steel to increase their lead to fourteen at halftime, but her reintroduction in the middle of the third saw the Magic regain momentum to take the quarter 15- 14.
However, they failed to bring that into their fourth quarter performance, with Steel ending with a decisive 15-goal victory.
The two teams will meet this week in Hamilton in the 12th round of the competition where the Magic will look to redeem themselves and the Steel will look to increase their rise in the standings. Despite the 15-point margin, Steel captain Shannon Saunders didn’t take much for granted.
“We just have to try to mix it up because the same thing won’t work anymore [against the Magic]”Saunders said.
The victory puts Steel three points ahead of Mainland Tactix who have yet to face Central Pulse this week following the extension of Covid Level 2 restrictions in Wellington.