West Coast Fever downed by Steel in first leg of New Zealand road trip

West Coast Fever downed by Steel in first leg of New Zealand road trip

DESPITE a comeback in the final quarter, West Coast Fever took a seven-goal loss to Southern Steel in New Zealand on the weekend.

Steel ultimately outscored Fever 69-62 in Round 5, with the winning team sinking 20 goals in the second term to Fever’s 11.

Fever Captain Ash Brazill said the team “played into the hands of Steel.”

“Rather than sticking to our own game plan we allowed ourselves to play the way they wanted us to,” she said.

“I think we need to concentrate on starting stronger in each quarter and build from that foundation.”

Steel got off to a solid start, scoring the first four goals of the game, before Fever’s midcourt combination of Brazill, Shae Brown and Verity Simmons clicked into gear.

The home side scored six of the first seven goals in the second quarter.

Fever coach Stacey Rosman introduced some fresh faces from the bench in an attempt to arrest the momentum, with Kate Beveridge injected into wing attack and Erena Mikaere handed the tall task of nullifying Steel’s start shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid.

While the change in personnel sparked a semi-revival from Fever, Steel continued to press their advantage before taking a 10-goal lead to the main break.

Staring down defeat, Fever rallied in the final quarter, including a run of five consecutive goals, but the lift came just slightly too late, with Steel recording a 69-62 victory.

Fever will take on Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic next Monday night in New Zealand for Round 6.