MATCH PREVIEW (R6): STARS v STEEL
The fourth quarter is proving telling for the Northern Stars and it is critical they address this before a second meeting with the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel. They are yet to win the final spell in a game this season which is significant in a number of narrow defeats. “It’s obviously those critical moments in the dying minutes that cost us the game,” captain Grace Kara said after the two-goal loss to the Steel in Invercargill last week. It will indeed be a Super Sunday if they can play a full 60 minutes to notch their first win this year. “There is belief,” Kara said. She said they had “huge potential” which was exciting. “We need to harness that and close out games because we’ve been in this position too many times.” The relationship between shooters Maia Wilson and Paula Griffin continues to grow with the latter showing some impressive touches in to her team-mate. Griffin could cement her position, which she has shared with Ellen Halpenny in the early rounds, if she can lift her accuracy. Steel coach Reinga Bloxham may look at using much of her bench for this game with the Steel backing up on Monday against the Silvermoon Tactix.
WHO TO WATCH:
Maia Wilson (Stars) – the goal shooter netted a personal haul of 42 from 45 attempts in the narrow loss on Sunday and proved a handful for the Steel defenders. Plenty of responsibility weighing on her young shoulders.
Fa’amu Ioane (Stars) versus Gina Crampton (Steel) – the Stars defender was effective in limiting Crampton’s impact on the game in Invercargill. Looks better suited on the wing but has interchanged with Holly Fowler in the centre role.
Courtney Elliott (Steel) – the defender is making the most of her opportunities in the Deep South. Grabbed two key intercepts, with fast feet and lightening reflexes, in a tense fourth quarter to help her team to victory against the Stars.