Steel getting precious experience for domestic title defence with preseason games against Aussie champs

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NZN

The Southern Steel will tune up for the defence of their New Zealand netball title by hosting Australian champions the Sunshine Coast Lightning in two pre-season matches.

Jhaniele Fowler-Reid of the Steel high fives with the team. 2017 ANZ Premiership netball match, Northern Stars v Southern Steel at the Vodafone Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. 26 April 2017 © Copyright Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz

Jhaniele Fowler-Reid of the Steel high fives with the team.

Source: Photosport

Earlier this year, the Steel travelled to the Sunshine Coast as part of their pre-season programme, forming a sister-club relationship.

The two franchises went on to win their respective domestic competitions.

Steel coach Reinga Bloxham says the matches in Dunedin on March 15 and in Invercargill the following day will be vital to her team's preparation.

"It's going to provide us with some vital high intensity international game play with a quality side," she said.

The Lightning are coached by New Zealander Noeline Taurua, who guided the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic to a Trans-Tasman Netball League title.

Taurua also had a stint coaching the Steel, whom she took to the minor premiership in the TTNL's final year in 2016.

"I am so excited to come back," she said.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and, for me, it's like a homecoming."

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