Coach Broughton admits flaws in Steel armour
Southern Steel coach Robyn Broughton admitted a few chinks in her side's armour were exposed after a closely-fought pre-season netball tournament in Queenstown wrapped up today.
After their 50-50 draw with the visiting Queensland Firebirds, the Steel won their only match of the final day, 54-50 against the Australian Institute of Sport team.
"It's shown up lots of things to work on and tidy up - it's just getting our act together and making sure we've got the right combinations, the right attitude, the whole lot," Broughton said.
"Everybody's been on court in different positions and getting a feel for the hard-nosed play out there ... everyone's enjoyed it and there's a good feeling."
The Firebirds will return to Brisbane happy after completing an unbeaten tournament with a 48-39 win over the Central Pulse today.
Inspired by tall Jamaican shooter Romelda Aiken, the Firebirds recovered from a 12-goal deficit against the Steel to earn a draw in the tournament highlight.
"It's really good for us to come here and get a touch of all the Kiwi teams," coach Roselee Jencke said.
"It's good experience for our girls to play against that style ... and know they can work through it successfully."
Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said signs were encouraging, and vowed her side wouldn't be competition easybeats in the ANZ Championship starting on March 20.
"Our team has very high expectations of ourselves ... we really expect to be a lot more competitive this year. The potential is there and you get really excited about what might be but you try not to get too far ahead of yourself either."
The Northern Mystics headed home with just one win under their belts - a 71-39 thumping of the AIS team.
However, captain Temepara George said the Mystics achieved their main objective - trialling various combinations.
"We learned from our losses and that's important. This tournament has definitely shown what we need to work on. I think we're heading in the right direction - we're definitely not perfect but you don't really want to be perfect at this stage."
While George dubbed her own team's performance "dismal", the Canterbury Tactix will take heart from their win over the Mystics yesterday. After losing 40-50 to the Pulse today, the Tactix's only other victory came against the AIS.
Said coach Helen Mahon-Stroud: "We've been able to see the capabilities of our players and how they work in different positions ... it's a comprehensive pre-season build-up and just gives them a really good hard workout."
FINAL DAY RESULTS
Mystics 71 AIS 39, Firebirds 48 Pulse 39, Steel 54 AIS 50, Pulse 50 Tactix 40.