Match Preview (R2) Steel v Magic
Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel captain Wendy Frew wants to see “better connections” on both attack and defence when her side suits up against the Waikato-BOP Magic. Their 17-match unbeaten streak – which included last year’s run to the inaugural Premiership crown – was undone in last week’s loss to Te Wānanga O Raukawa Pulse. The Steel failed to match the energy of their opponents and will need to reignite that southern spark to knock over the Magic. Expect plenty of fireworks in the Steel’s shooting circle with Jennifer O’Connell, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Kelly Jury and Casey Kopua all likely to go toe-to-toe. The Magic have had plenty of time between games and may be hoping goal shooter Lenize Potgieter – ruled out of the first round through injury – could get some valuable minutes on court. The shooting circle is where the Magic will look for improvement and a fully-fit Potgieter would be a timely confidence boost for the side.
WHO TO WATCH:
Dani Gray (Steel) – she has come on strongly from the bench in the Steel’s opening encounters. She grabbed three deflections and an intercept against the Pulse, and at 180cm adds a little extra height on defence outside of the circle.
Monica Falkner (Magic) versus Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit (Steel) – it doesn’t get any easier for young Magic goal attack who takes on some added responsibility in the absence of Potgieter. Steel’s Selby-Rickit is one of the game’s most consistent players and will be a tough prospect for Falkner.
Kelly Jury (Magic) – another exciting battle between two of the country’s younger prospects with Jury coming up against Jennifer O’Connell. Jury gives up just one centimetre to her opponent but will have to be wary of the southerner’s strong hold.