Southern Steel not Swift enough against NSW
Southern Steel coach Janine Southby described her team's first quarter performance today as "awful" as the New South Wales Swifts did a demolition job in the trans-Tasman netball game played in Canberra.
The Steel were looking to keep their play-off dream alive against the Swifts but it didn't take long for the Australian team to put a knife into those hopes.
At 20-10 at the end of the first quarter a startled Steelwere in real trouble and coach Southby wasn't all that impressed.
"It was pretty awful. We were too hesitant and reactive as opposed to being really proactive and the things we talked about we just didn't do. We lost our connection and lost our way in that quarter. It's disappointing," she said.
The impressive wave that was the Swifts team didn't let up in the second quarter to allow any sort of Steel recovery.
"When a team gets 10 goals ahead and 15 and then at one stage even 20 it just makes it too difficult to pull back," Southby said.
The quarter scores went 20-10, 17-14, and 17-12 before the Steel players finally gave their coach and their fans something to smile about in the final quarter.
Despite being well out of the game and deflated by the Swifts rampant display the Steel players were able to win the final quarter 16-11.
While Southby wasn't all that thrilled, she did acknolwedge that final quarter effort.
"I'm pleased with the way we pulled in back in the later part. If we could take the start out that would be good. I think after the first quarter we got our connections going on attack again and once we had that our scoring in the second and third quarter was fairly even and, I think, in the second half defensively we got a few more gains."
The Steel now eye their final four games in the competition with mostly just pride at stake.
They will play the Mystics and Magic away from home before home games against the Tactix and Melbourne Vixens.
Individually, many players have some points to prove and, as a team, Southby said it was important the focus remained on winning as many games as the Steel could.
"The aim for us is to still finish as high up the ladder as I can and that still hasn't gone and that is what was always what it was all about for us."