Southern Steel hoping to fight back against Fever

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 07:00 21/03/2014
Wendy Frew
ROBYN EDIE / Fairfax NZ
FEVER FIGHT: It's fair to say Steel midcourter Wendy Frew doesn't like being part of a losing team.

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Netball

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It's fair to say Steel midcourter Wendy Frew doesn't like being part of a losing team.

"We are going upwards but it's still not good enough. You can't lose three games on the trot – it's going to make it pretty tough to make that top four now. We need to start playing some consistent netball," Frew said during a visit to the children's ward at Southland Hospital to promote world oral care day yesterday.

"There's a bit of pressure on us after 3-0, which has been a disappointing start, but the girls have trained well and we need to keep working on the errors we've made and put a full 60-minute performance in."

A loss to the West Coast Fever in Dunedin tomorrow would put the Ascot Park Hotel-sponsored team on the bubble of the semifinals.

No team has lost more than four games and made the playoffs since 2010 when Steel snuck in under Robyn Broughton.

The Fever have proved to be a bogey team for the Steel, winning the last three encounters.

Two of those games were in Perth but you have to go back to 2010 and the old Stadium Southland to find a Steel victory.

Adding Natalie Medhurst and Chelsea Pitman to the roster during the offseason has meant the Fever have the resources to make up for the amount of travel required during the season.

"The Fever are a great side. They've had some changes and recruited well. They certainly aren't going to be easy," Frew said.

"We all know it's a long trip but there's lots of things in place to get your body right for that. They won't be using that as an excuse. They'll come out firing. They had their first win at the weekend so they know what it feels like and will want more of that."

The Steel led by five at halftime against the Magic, the competition frontrunners.

That sort of result provides the Steel with confidence that things are moving in the right direction but also some frustration that they can't make it stick.

"We've been working hard on that. We started well against the Magic and then just let them back in the game," Frew said. "We've had a look at the game and we know, individually, where we went wrong. It's about stepping up and taking it to them [Fever] for the whole 60. With the travel that will be tough on them."

"We didn't have as much preseason together as we would have liked. That's no excuse for losing three on the trot but things are certainlygetting better with each game."

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Frew said the team was looking forward to the first of two appearances in Dunedin this season.

Yesterday about 1500 tickets had been sold for the 2700-capacity venue at the Edgar Centre.

"I think it's nice to take the games up there. We get a lot of support up there and, hopefully, we can get a few more bums on seats and fill it out. It would be nice to play in front of a vocal crowd."

- Fairfax Media

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