Steel blast past Tactix with record win
The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel reclaimed top spot on the ladder after executing a ruthless 90-41 win over Silvermoon Tactix in Christchurch on Wednesday.
The Tactix were given a torrid time as Steel piled on the highest score of the ANZ Premiership, their fourth time past 70 goals this season while Jhaniele Fowler-Reid had a record personal haul of 70 goals to complete the demolition and with it a record winning margin.
Steel recovered quickly from a tentative start and once into their stride proved unstoppable. When normal service had resumed it was business as usual, the visitors employing an almost impregnable defensive wall while finding pace and accuracy with their through-court transition.
Giant Jamaican import Fowler-Reid was an imposing presence under the Steel hoop despite the lively attention from defender Temalisi Fakahokotau who struggled to combat her opponent’s 1.98m frame.
Steel quickly worked their way into a position of control, their impeccable defensive work across the court leading to a flurry of turnovers. Producing wave after wave of relentless attacking momentum, the visitors flew into the first break with a 22-7 lead.
The Tactix lifted their pace on the resumption but still struggled with their volume into the shooting circle. Shooter Brooke Leaver gave a good account of herself under the home team’s hoop but just didn’t get enough ball in her hands.
Steel centre Shannon Francois had a field day through the midcourt, the athletic midcourter delivering perfect feeds to her shooters while also having a strong influence defensively.
Jane Watson was the main beneficiary of the Steel’s suffocating defence, the defender picking up a flurry of intercepts and deflections as the visitors waltzed into halftime with a 46-17 advantage.
The Steel had the luxury of introducing youngsters Jamie Hume (goal attack) and Abby Erwood (goal defence) for the Selby-Rickit sisters, shooter Te Paea notching her 50th outing in Steel colours in the process for the second half.
The visitors didn’t lose much in terms of their intensity and ability to maintain a commanding presence with their relentless pressure.
Playing a more enterprising brand of netball, the Tactix had their best quarter of the match, spearheaded by the playmaking skills of Anna Thompson. The veteran campaigner and Leaver continued to shoot accurately but could not match the firepower of their opponents.