Southern Steel hit 90 goals in ANZ Premiership drubbing against Tactix - April 20, 2017
by BRENDON EGAN
The Southern Steel racked up an avalanche of goals, as the Mainland Tactix season plummeted into crisis point.
Led by strong team defence, accurate feeding and a sublime shooting performance from Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, the Steel thrashed the Tactix 90-41 on Wednesday night in Christchurch.
The 49-goal drubbing was the perfect way to reward Steel goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit, who was playing her 50th match for the franchise.
Fowler-Reid has destroyed the Tactix in her previous four seasons at the Steel and ensured the scoreboard ticked over frequently, converting a staggering 70 goals from 75 attempts for the match.
Conceding 90 goals and turning the ball over 41 times makes for distressing reading for the Tactix.
Scoring enough goals has been an issue in the early rounds and again they only reached 41, though their accuracy was a slight improvement.
The victory saw the Steel return to top of the table, making it four wins from four to begin the ANZ Premiership.
Fowler-Reid has averaged 54 goals a game against the Tactix since joining the Steel in 2013 and once again had a field day against New Zealand netball's cellar dwellers.
She enjoyed an armchair ride from the Steel midcourt in the first half, landing 35/40, putting up goals as quickly as she had slotted the last.
It was the first time she had landed 70 in an elite match.
"Honestly, all credit to my midcourt because if they hadn't brought 70 balls to me, I wouldn't have shot 70 goals," Fowler-Reid said.
"I always say I can improve a lot more. I can add a lot more to my repertoire. I'm pretty pleased with my performance and my progress."
By halftime, the Steel had racked up a landslide 46-17 scoreline with the crowd sitting stunned in disbelief as the Tactix players headed for the dressing room and no doubt a fiery tirade from coach Sue Hawkins.
The Tactix were an embarrassment, turning the ball over 22 times alone in the first half alone. They were once again powerless on defence to stop the supply of ball entering the shooting circle. They looked clueless and as the goals started to pile up seemed to go into their shells, losing confidence.
On the few times Fowler-Reid did miss, the 1.98m giant was on hand to gobble up the rebound with her long reach and convert the shot.
She was thrilled with the way her team didn't let up and kept the pressure on the Tactix to the final whistle.
"It has given us a lot of confidence, but we still have heaps of room to improve and to get even better than this game."
It was another awful showing from the Tactix, who have resembled a rabble in their opening four games of 2017.
On the performances they've put out so far, they'll battle to win a game and are destined for another miserable campaign.
Netball New Zealand must be concerned by the lack of competiveness the Tactix are showing. They might be left with little option, but to step in at the end of the season and provide greater assistance.
The one-time proud Canterbury netball province really has hit rock bottom.
With their majority of their squad back from last season, the Steel looked slick on both attack and defence and again flexed their muscle as title favourites.
The Steel were slow to start with Shannon Francois called for held ball on their opening possession and Selby-Rickit missing her first attempt on goal. Then the floodgates opened.
The southerners jumped out to a 10-4 advantage feasting off Tactix mistakes as they tried to hit the circle edge and find their shooters.
Completely dominating the Tactix in the midcourt, they went on a 10-0 run late in the term to build a whopping 20-5 lead, which was curtains for the home team.
Fowler-Reid landed 18/21 in the first quarter alone as the Tactix defence failed to pressure the Steel attackers, who fired the ball through with ease.
The Tactix were able to convert all seven attempts in the opening term, but they committed 11 turnovers, which a team of the Steel's quality, cashed in on.
Down by a massive 29-goal margin at halftime, the Tactix produced their most consistent netball in the third quarter, netting 12 goals and restricting the Steel to 19.
Former Steel shooter Brooke Leaver was one of the few Tactix players to cover themselves in any glory, impressing with 28/32.
Southern Steel 90 (Jhaniele Fowler Reid: 70/75, Te Paea Selby-Rickit: 11/13, Jamie Hume: 9/15)
Mainland Tactix 41 (Brooke Leaver: 28/32, Anna Thompson: 7/8, Kadeen Corbin: 6/10)
Quarter scores: 22-7, 46-17, 65-29