Southerners 'Steel' the win from Mystics

By Ruth Smith

Steel defender Te Huinga Selby-Rickit played her part in the Southern Steel's 56-52 defeat of the Mystics last night in Invercargill, helping the team  to remain second on the ANZ Premiership leader board.

The Steel, who had home advantage, remained composed in the final quarter to down the Mystics by four points.

"It was a really tight game out there.  Both teams played a skilled game of netball.  We took it away in that last quarter," says the Southern Steel's captain, Wendy Frew.

Despite the loss, Mystics Head Coach Helene Wilson can be content with her side's performance with Bailey Mes, scoring 100% of her 31 attempts at goal, and Phoenix Karaka stealing six intercepts at goal keep.

"It was a good first half.  A lot more consistent for us- [we] treasured that ball and worked it.  It's great to see Bailey getting that confidence back- we know she's got it in her so I'm so stoked that she's got 100% for that," says captain of the Mystics, Anna Harrison.

With the scoreboard locked at 38 points in the third quarter it was anyone's win, however, the Steel stepped up a gear and snatched a 43-39 lead.

"It was really that third quarter we just let them blow out on us and you can't play catch up netball, it's really hard," says Harrison.

20-year-old Courtney Elliott made her presence felt, rattling the Mystics attack in the final quarter to keep the Mystics on edge, with the Steel banking their third victory this season, but Frew says her side still has a lot to work on.

"I thought we looked a bit lethargic out there, so we'll certainly be looking at that.  The girls were trying hard but we just didn't have that same spark that we normally have.  So, definitely something we'll need to address," says Frew.

The Mystics now face an in-form Tactix next week Monday, while the Steel play top of the table Pulse on Wednesday, 28 May, at Te Rauparaha Arena in Wellington.