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Battered Steel prepared for Pulse

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/06/2017 Cathy Walshe

Coach Reinga Bloxham still isn't quite sure what players she'll have available when her battered and bruised Southern Steel outfit tackle the Central Pulse on Monday in the final round of the national netball premiership.

Six of her squad were involved in an accident last Monday when the team van was in a collision at a Christchurch intersection.

The van ended up on its side, and four players were taken to hospital.

Two Silver Ferns, shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit and midcourter Shannon Francois, were admitted to hospital but - along with star Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid - were later discharged.

Veteran midcourter Wendy Frew underwent surgery to repair injuries to her elbow and leg.

Bloxham said all four players were recovering well, but at least two wouldn't be playing against the Pulse.

"The two we know won't play on Monday are Wendy and Te Paea at this stage," she told NZ Newswire.

"But both are doing a lot better than what they have been in the last couple of days."

The Steel, unbeaten this season, are already through to the grand final in 10 days, with their opposition likely to be either the second-placed Pulse or third-ranked Northern Mystics.

"We know we've still got a couple of weeks still up our sleeve, and we're hoping they recover as quickly as possible so we can get them back out on court."

In the meantime, Bloxham is confident the Steel have the depth to cover any absences after drawing heavily on their second-tier Beko league team for Wednesday's 51-46 win over Mainland Tactix.

"The Beko girls that came in and stood up for us were fantastic," she said.

"It was such an emotionally driven game for us - we were so very proud of the girls."

The Steel already have two wins over the Pulse this season, the most recent an 80-44 pounding three weeks ago, but Bloxham says her players aren't about to relax.

"They've got a lot of really good players - the Pulse are a threat to us, but we're really just focusing on ourselves and making sure we've got the best team out there on Monday night to do the job."

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