Steel all but end Magic’s ANZ Premiership hopes

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Southern Steel have beaten the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic 63-48 in Hamilton last night.

The win means they hold on to the second spot in the ANZ Netball Premiership and sounds a warning to the high-flying Pulse that the Steel are breathing down their necks.

The Steel dominated the game from start to finish, winning the first three quarters and drawing the fourth when it clear that the result was in the bag.

The Magic didn’t help themselves, showing a lack of patience throughout the midcourt that led to a number of costly turnovers.  By comparison, the visitors were efficient with their transition to their shooters, who both achieved over 80 percent accuracy.  By comparison, the Magic's main target Kelsey McPhee could only manage 73 percent.

Wing defence Kendall McMinn replaced Kate Heffernan in the Steel line-up on the resumption as the visitors continued to highlight their greater flow and momentum on attack.

Silver Fern Te Paea Selby-Rickit continued to impress for the Steel with her work rate and accuracy before being spelled late in the quarter, the second Heffernan sister, Georgia, taking her place.

The loss for the Magic means their finals hopes are all but over, they are now eight points behind the Northern Stars for the vital third spot that would take them to a playoff for the final.

Meanwhile, the Steel will welcome all the ANZ Premiership teams to their home court this weekend.  The entire round is being played at Invercargill’s ILT Stadium Southland as part of the third Super Sunday of the competition, which will be followed by a replay of the last two year’s grand finals, between the Steel and Pulse on the following Monday night.

The Pulse currently top the ladder with eleven wins in a row so far this season.