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Southerners steel for stern netball test

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/04/2016 Cathy Walshe

Netball is a game of angles, and Southern Steel coach Noeline Taurua is working hard on finding the right one ahead of Saturday's trans-Tasman clash with West Coast Fever in Invercargill.

The Steel are riding high at the moment, leading the New Zealand conference with three wins and a draw from their four matches.

All four games have been against New Zealand opposition, and Taurua is keen to see how her team stack up against Australian opposition.

Not that she's anticipating tweaking her game plan too much.

"Our ethos going into this game isn't going to be any different from all the other games - I feel the strategies we do have can combat an Australian or a New Zealand style," she told NZ Newswire.

"A lot of it's about angles - finding the right angles we know the opposition can't compete at, or getting them flat, turning their heads around, those sorts of things."

The Steel have produced a slick, fast-moving game in their wins over the Mystics, Magic and Pulse, as well as a 58-58 draw with the Tactix.

In her first season with the Steel, Taurua has introduced more variety into their attacking third and unpredictability into their circle feed.

Towering Jamaican goal shoot Jhaniele Fowler Reid is slowly mixing her superb holding game with other options, and goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit's accuracy and confidence is growing with every game.

Taurua says her team are working hard to find the right mix, blending possession netball with the ability to recognise when it's time to just let the ball fly.

"It's about attacking and giving things a crack - maybe being a bit more strategic and calculative on what we're trying to do, which can sometimes looks a bit unorthodox."

She's expecting a tough workout from the Fever, who last week suffered their first loss of the season in falling 63-52 to the NSW Swifts.

"I think Fever are a fantastic team. Throughout the court they're tenacious, they're very fast, and the speed that is outside the circle also helps for the set-up inside.

"If we get caught running, we're going to pay."

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