SouthlandSport editor Nathan Burdon

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Southern Steel look ahead to final rematch after big win over Tactix

Southern Steel look ahead to final rematch after big win over Tactix

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel will look to tighten up in a number of areas ahead of their next challenge against the Pulse after securing an 18-goal win over the Tactix tonight.

The defending ANZ Premiership champions will take on the team they defeated in dramatic circumstances for the first time since last year’s final in Wellington on Monday week, with co-captain Gina Crampton identifying a number of ‘work ons’ ahead of that game.

“It’s going to be a really tough game, definitely they are the in form team. I don’t think we’ll get away with playing so wide against them because they are quite good at hunting ball out. We are going to really need to attack the middle.”

The Steel will also be looking to make more from their turnover ball when those opportunities arrive.

“Our D unit is working really well at the moment, they are getting some really good ball, so we need to make sure we cherish that ball and score it down our end.”

Crampton is a fan of the unbeaten Pulse’s play this year, especially the way they create opportunities to claim opposition ball.

“They look after the ball and they score their turnovers really well. Their D ends are pretty nifty, they hunt ball and they get it lifted for their backs to go for it.”

Crampton acknowledged the emotion surrounding tonight’s game against the Tactix, coming just after 48 hours after the Christchurch terrorist attack.

Additional security surrounded the game at ILT Stadium Southland, and there was a poignant moment of silence before the game started.

“There were a lot of questions around whether we would even play today and there were a lot of conversations about that. We are good friends of the Tactix and we have a lot of love for them. If anyone was going to play them it was nice that it was us.”

Despite falling behind by three goals early in the first quarter, the Steel had virtually assured victory by halftime when they led by nine goals.

As they did when they beat the Magic by 20 goals in their last outing, the Steel were able to run the bench, with Kendall McMinn and Taneisha Fifita both getting court time, while Kate Heffernan enjoyed some time at centre after starting at wing defence.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit returned 25 goals from 30 attempts, while MVP Lenize Potgieter shot 45 from 51.

A total of $2800 was raised during the game for victims of Friday’s attack.

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