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Steel win shows blueprint for the future

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/06/2017 Cathy Walshe

Southern Steel have provided a blueprint for the future with their 69-53 national netball premiership grand final win, Central Pulse skipper Katrina Grant believes.

The well-drilled Steel were too slick, speedy and strong for the Pulse at Invercargill's Stadium Southland on Wednesday.

They had all but wrapped up the game with a 35-20 lead at the main break, controlling the second half efficiently to shut out an increasingly frustrated Pulse outfit.

Grant says this year's inaugural premiership has breathed new life into New Zealand netball following the demise of the trans-Tasman netball league after nine years.

"I think the competition this year and the premiership has been huge for developing our younger players to come through," the 30-year-old Silver Ferns defender said.

"That's helped our experienced players learn from them just as much as they're learning from us.

"It's making us realise we don't have to play like Aussies to be successful. We can do our own game."

While the Pulse weren't consistent enough to push the Steel across four quarters, Grant said there were plenty of encouraging signs for the future.

The Wellington-based team have a youthful squad, with four netballers in their first season at premiership level.

One of those players, goal attack Tiana Metuarau, is only 16 and shows huge potential.

"I feel like if this team can stay together for a little long, it is only going to grow," she said.

"Throughout the season we've seen glimpses of very special netball that hasn't been seen before, and that's a true credit to the younger players coming through."

Steel coach Reinga Bloxham says that while the structure of the new competition provides challenges, there are still many pluses.

"It's nice to get back to the New Zealand style, but also the fact that we've been able to blood younger players has to be good for our netball in the future."

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