Steel go down to Swifts who stay in finals race
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 2:55a.m.
A torturous training week and a more physical approach has helped NSW Swifts stay in the trans-Tasman netball finals race with a 55-42 home win over Southern Steel.
It was their highest score and biggest victory margin of the season so far for Swifts, who entered the penultimate round in fifth spot.
With the worst percentage of the five teams vying for a top four place, Swifts will have to beat fellow aspirants Northern Mystics in Auckland next Sunday and probably hope for one another result to go their way.
"We'll be all going for the Firebirds (against the Magic)," Swifts coach Lisa Beehag says. "I think there's a number of scenarios but I think that's the most likely."
Hard work through the week was the catalyst for a Swifts side desperate to rebound from a record-breaking 62-35 loss to the Thunderbirds.
"We trained our butts off to be completely truthful, we pushed everyone to their limits," NSW co-captain and midcourt stalwart Kimberlee Green says.
"Still up and down, still a bit of inconsistency there, but we're getting better."
Bullied by Adelaide, the Swifts stood up better when physically pressured by the struggling Steel, who have lost nine straight games.
"That was the sort of win that we needed, something that was really physical, which was what Adelaide put out to us," Green says.
"I think the most promising thing is that we've learnt to deal with that ... and to bounce back and give something back, so that was exciting."
Swifts didn't have it all their own way and only led by three and four at the first two changes.
The Kiwis fought back to level in the third.
Swifts then produced a game-turning burst of five successive goals to take control and led by eight going into the final change.
NSW never looked like relinquishing the lead and increased their advantage and season percentage in the final term.
Susan Pratley scored 37 goals at 84 per cent for NSW.
Swifts wing defence, Jo Sutton, the sister of Souths NRL five-eighth John Sutton, has announced she will retire at the end of the season and concentrate on studies to become a nutritionist.
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