Steel chase second title
There is no chance to take a well earned break for the Southern Steel, who will be trying to win their second title in nine days at the Super Club netball tournament in Nelson starting on Sunday.
The 2017 ANZ Premiership title winners defeated the Central Pulse 59-43 in the national netball final and they will now turn their attention to international club teams in a competition featuring teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji and Wales.
The Steel will field a near full strength squad for the event with the exception of promising defender Abby Erwood who will be representing the New Zealand under-21 team at the World Youth Cup in Botswana.
They will bring in three Netball South players Olivia Bates, Dani Gray and Erwood’s twin sister Sophie to bolster their squad for the tournament, which finishes on Friday.
With the only Australian team attending the tournament a composite team coming from the NSW Institute of Sport, the Steel are one of the pre-tournament favourites.
‘‘We are bringing in some of the Beko girls to come away with us, you know it is a big week of netball, so it is really important that we have a good squad to manage the players and get us through that week and into that final,’’ Steel coach Reinga Bloxham said.
The eight-team tournament sees teams split into two groups of four, with pool games taking place on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday before two days of playoffs.
The Steel are in Pool A and will face South Africa’s Gauteng Jaguars on Sunday, before matches against the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the NSWIS.
Pool B includes Central Pulse and Northern Mystics, along with the Celtic Flames from Wales and Fiji entry Marama Vou.
Steel players get their hands on the ANZ Premiership trophy after winning the final against the Central Pulse.