Steel crush Stars as Silver Fern squad naming looms

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Southern Steel trounced the Northern Stars 63-46 in Invercargill last night, in a preview of what will be the ANZ Netball Premiership’s elimination final next week.

On their home court, where the elimination match will take place, the Steel kept their perfect home record intact, notching up a 16th straight win with a dominant start and finish to the final game of the regular season.

The home side shot out to an 11-1 lead early, getting plenty of ball to shooters Lenize Potgieter and Te Paea Selby-Rickit. The Stars did mount an impressive first quarter comeback to cut the lead to 16-11 at the first break.

However, the dominance of the Steel gave them at least a handy five-goal buffer for the remainder of the match at all times. Both sides were able to give some of their bench a bit of game-time in the second half, with Courtney Elliott and Kate Burley taking over at the Stars defensive end. Jennifer O’Connell replaced Potgieter under the hoop for the Steel.

All the big names will be keeping an eye on the upcoming Silver Ferns announcement later today. The side will head to Liverpool in July to try and regain some of the mana lost in the last couple of disappointing seasons for the Ferns, who missed a medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Coach Noeline Taurua has made it clear she will take four shooters to the tournament, so with the locked in selections of Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekanasio, it’s likely Selby-Rickit will feature as well.

The team will be named at 4:40pm today.