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Steel crush Pulse for netball perfect 10

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/05/2017

Any doubt the Southern Steel are the team to beat in the national netball premiership has been laid to rest with a remarkable 80-44 dissection of the Central Pulse in Porirua.

Playing on their home court and boasting the competition's tightest defence, the Pulse were expected to challenge the Steel's unbeaten start to the season.

Instead, the visitors unfurled their most-commanding display to go 10-from-10 and confirm their outright favouritism.

Goal shoot Jhaniele Fowler-Reid sank a competition-record 66 goals, with Silver Ferns defenders Katrina Grant and Phoenix Karaka seemingly powerless to prevent the ball reaching the towering Jamaican.

Most of her 70 shots were from under the basket, reflecting the accuracy, movement and speed of the Steel attack.

Goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit shot just 14 goals but was an important link while an excellent season for midcourters Shannon Francois and Gina Crampton went to another level.

At the other end of the court, goal keep Jane Watson made life a misery for the Pulse attack.

Watson's seven intercepts eclipsed the tally for the entire Pulse team, while she also picked up 10 deflections.

The scene was set when the Steel powered 23-10 ahead after the first quarter.

Unlike recent games when she has experimented, Steel coach Reinga Bloxham largely kept her big guns on court to deliver an emphatic result.

While it appears nothing can stop the southern juggernaut, the Pulse face a fight for second place.

Their 6-4 record leaves them level on 14 points with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (5-5), who have snared more bonus points.

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