Steel need focus to avoid slip-up against Tactix

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 23/05/2014
Southern Steel
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
IN SYNC: Southern Steel hope they haven’t lost all their momentum during the bye round.

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Banana skins and bye rounds are the challenge for Southern Steel as they look ahead to Sunday night's game against the Tactix in Dunedin.

The bye round came at an inopportune time for Steel, who had put together back-to-back wins over the Mystics and Magic to kickstart their 2014 season.

Steel assistant coach Reinga Te Huia believes the Ascot Park Hotel-sponsored team will come back well from having the weekend off.

"I think it's been quite good, even though it would have been nice to have the bye after we got back from Canberra. We are hoping that the momentum will still continue on," she said.

"We are still having two trainings this week to counteract the fact we didn't have a game last weekend, along with some match practise as well."

Which leads us to banana skins, an apt description for a Tactix team that has to be respected despite winning just one from 11 on the way to what will likely be a fourth trans-Tasman league wooden spoon this season.

When Te Huia says Steel can't afford to go in half-hearted against the Christchurch-based side, she isn't just paying them lip service, especially after a 49-45 loss to the Pulse on Sunday.

"We know that the Tactix are a team that have some quite close losses this year so we know we can't underestimate them, or anyone in the competition. They are just waiting for that moment to pounce on any team and take that win. It's really important that our preparation is as it has been all season."

History is on Steel's side as they prepare for their second game of the season in Dunedin.

Earlier this year they pulled off a pulsating win over the West Coast Fever at the Lion Foundation Arena, their first of the season.

In 13 games against the Tactix, Steel have won 10, including the last three.

Steel have also won four of five games coming off the bye and can equal last year's effort of six victories if they win on Sunday.

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- The Southland Times

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