Steel chase sec­ond ti­tle

Marlborough Express - - CLASSIFIEDS - SCOTT DON­ALD­SON

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.

JOHN HAWKINS/FAIR­FAX NZ

Steel play­ers get their hands on the ANZ Pre­mier­ship tro­phy af­ter win­ning the fi­nal against the Cen­tral Pulse.

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