Con­di­tion­ing is prov­ing cru­cial to Steel­ers’ abil­ity to raise their game

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RUGBY LEAGUE - PHIL HAR­RI­SON

IF SH­EFFIELD STEEL­ERS’ play­ers thought a full week be­tween games was go­ing to buy them much down­time, they should prob­a­bly think again.

Hav­ing taken yes­ter­day to get over their ex­er­tions from a com­fort­able, yet still im­pres­sive 4-0 win over Dundee Stars at Sh­effield Arena on Satur­day night, Tom Bar­rasso will have his team back at it early this morn­ing in prepa­ra­tion for what comes next.

That ‘what’ is the visit of Guild­ford Flames on Satur­day night, bring­ing an end to a run of four straight home games for the Steel­ers, who have won the three so far.

What pleased Bar­rasso most about the lat­est of­fer­ing from his play­ers, was their abil­ity and will­ing­ness to skate hard for a full 60 min­utes.

Since his ar­rival al­most three weeks ago, one of Bar­rasso’s chief aims was to im­prove the con­di­tion­ing of his play­ers, some­thing he saw ev­i­dence of against Omar Pacha’s side. More of the same can be ex­pected in prac­tice this week.

“I like our con­di­tion­ing level and I like our con­di­tion­ing level to com­pete against any­one in this league right now,” said Bar­rasso.

“It has re­ally been the fo­cus for us for these past three weeks and it will be a big fo­cus for us dur­ing this com­ing week, just so we can keep get­ting in bet­ter con­di­tion in or­der to skate teams hard like we did against Dundee.”

The hosts took the lead against Dundee with just over eight min­utes gone, when Justin Buzzeo was pre­sented with the sim­plest of tap-ins. The Steel­ers dou­bled their lead at 14.59 through Jonas Wester­ling’s short-handed strike when Jonathan Phillips’s pre­ci­sion pass pre­sented him with a 1-on-1.

Af­ter a goal­less sec­ond pe­riod, the Steel­ers pushed home their ad­van­tage, a Josh Pitt power play strike at 52.27 be­ing fol­lowed by Phillips’s marker just un­der three min­utes later.

“The most pos­i­tive thing is the way we played for 60 min­utes,” added Bar­rasso. “We’ve had glimpses of us be­ing a good team for 20 min­utes at a time, but we put to­gether a pretty solid 60-minute game against Dundee.”

TOM BAR­RASSO: Look­ing for his Sh­effield Steel­ers’ team to be re­lent­less on the ice.

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