Canterbury Tactix crashed to a new low in the trans-Tasman netball league as Southern Steel utterly dominated their South Island derby match 66-38 in Christchurch today.
The visitors were in command through all parts of the court against a Tactix side whose confidence appears wafer thin after suffering a sixth successive loss.
Since opening their campaign with a victory over the Central Pulse, the Tactix's stock has steadily declined and they were never in the hunt against a slick Steel side who began round seven in sixth place and improved their record to four wins and three defeats.
The southerners hammered the Pulse 64-40 last weekend and today's win leaves them firmly in the hunt to repeat last year's outcome and qualify for the semifinals.
Their tough defensive duo of Leana de Bruin and Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit set the tone, making life hellish for shorter Canterbury shooters Ellen Halpenny and Anna Thompson. Halpenny was replaced at halftime after a mediocre return of 15 from 24 shots while goal attack Thompson only put up 23 shots for the entire game.
At the other end, Steel wing attack Liana Barrett-Chase and goal attack/captain Megan Dehn were the perfect foils for prolific goal shoot Daneka Wipiiti, who landed 38-from-48 shots before sitting out the final quarter. Julianna Naoupu lit up the final stanza with 12-from-12 while Dehn recorded 16-from-16.
The combined height of De Bruin, Selby-Rickit and Wipiiti proved decisive, with the trio pulling down 15 rebounds between them, while Canterbury's entire team managed just seven between them. Goal keep Selby-Rickit also snared three intercepts and six defensive tips in a supreme display.
After steadily pulling clear to lead 29-22 at halftime, the Steel stamped their authority in the third quarter, which they won 19-6. Their 66 goals equalled their best offensive return in the trans-Tasman league.
The Tactix can now lick their wounds with a bye round next weekend while the Steel contemplate a key game against the Northern Mystics in Invercargill.