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​NZ teams and NSWIS to contest Super Club semis

Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel kept their hopes of defending their Super Club title alive with a consummate 66-51 win over the Silvermoon Tactix in Nelson on Tuesday.

Winners of the inaugural title last year, a loss would have left the Steel out of the playoffs after they were beaten by the Gauteng Jaguars earlier in the tournament, the unlucky South African side consigned to third place in the pool.

Tonight’s win left the Steel and Tactix filling the top two spots in Pool A, and the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse finishing first and second in Pool B. The quartet will contest the semi-finals in cross-over matches on Thursday following tomorrow’s community engagement day.

Showing their big game mentality, the Steel showed no mercy against their southern rivals with a clinically efficient display. Imposing team defence, speed and accuracy on attack and the reliability of shooter Jen O’Connell under the hoop helped the Steel take control before going on to dominate.

Playmaking goal attack Olivia Bates added the icing on the cake with her six successful shots from the two-point zone as the Steel rammed home their advantage with a telling third quarter.

The Pulse rebounded in style from their one-goal loss yesterday when turning on a dazzling outing to post a comprehensive 81-35 win over the combined Fiji/Samoa Marama Vou side.

Leading by six at the first break, the Pulse moved into overdrive from that point with a fine showing across all areas of the court. Ameliaranne Ekenasio found her range from the two-point zone, slotting eight from range during her time while Tiana Metuarau, in her first appearance at the tournament, chimed in with four.

At the other end, new Silver Fern Karin Burger shone from the wing and goal defence roles, grabbing eight intercepts during her three-quarters spent on court.

Marama Vou struggled to contain the rampant Pulse, committing too many turnovers and not finding their usual prowess under the hoop.

Stung into action by Scotland’s tenacious UWS Sirens, NSWIS delivered a forceful third quarter to prevail 57-49 in an exciting contest while keeping their unbeaten record intact.

On the back of excellent full-court defence, smart attacking play and a clutch of timely two-point shots from Monica Falkner, the Sirens clawed back a six-goal first quarter deficit while taking the lead briefly during the second stanza.

Holding a slim one-goal advantage at halftime, NSWIS sprung into action, the meticulous play of shooter Georgia Marshall and big defence from Teigan O’Shannassy and Lauren Moore helped the Australian side produce a telling 22-7 third term to take a decisive 16-goal lead into the last turn.

The gallant Sirens fought back gamely to dominant the last stanza 17-9 but NSWIS ensured there were no slip-ups.

The Jaguars bounced back strongly from yesterday’s loss with a commanding 72-47 win over the plucky Singapore Sneakers.

The Jaguars were on-song from the outset, goal attack Danielle Van Zyl taking on the long-range shot with good success while her fellow scorer Ine-Mari Venter was rock solid from close range.

The Sneakers struggled to make the most of their turnover opportunities in the face of a proficient and efficient Jaguars side, a run of injuries and fatigue also taking its toll.