Southland, Sports · 4 Jun 2021

England Links Steel shooting Trio

Southland Sports News

Southland Sports News

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A sharp shot isn’t the only thing in common for a key trio within the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel team.

Shooting sensations George Fisher, Tiana Metuarau and assistant coach Jo Morrison all share links to England.

While Fisher is a current member of the Vitality Roses, Morrison, nee Steed, was a member of the national team from 2000 to 2002 and Metuarau was also born in England.

“They are both our wee English roses in the back. In fact, all three of us were born in England … but when I played for the Roses, George was just a toddler and Tiana wasn’t even born yet,” Morrison said.

Morrison has been impressed with Fisher “from the get go”.

“She’s got a real thirst for learning and she’s come over here obviously just wanting to better her netball and she’s very open to all the things we’re throwing at her. What’s even more pleasing and enjoyable is that she’s willing to give it a crack out on court so you can’t really ask for more as a coach,” she said.

“She’s lots of fun and has fitted in really well with the team and all the dynamics. I’m really enjoying working with her.”

Morrison’s extensive experience has been beneficial in identifying areas of focus.

Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel assistant coach Jo Morrison, Photo: Southern Steel

“We’ve been focused on her availability to the ball, her connection with her other shooter and also with the middies. Those have been the majors. We’ve just been tinkering a little bit on her shot technique,” she said.

“When you’re shooting at this level, it becomes a mental thing as well so the fact she can consistently shoot over 90 percent accuracy is testament to her strength and what she offers to her team.

“She is so reliable and it’s fantastic to think that once we have that ball we pretty much score it once it gets to that goal circle. We’re very lucky to have such a high volume and high percentage shooter.”

Her combination with the dynamic Metuarau was attracting plenty of attention – particularly from opposition defenders who are desperately seeking ways to halt their blossoming partnership.

“The thing with that shooting combination is that it’s so young and it’s got so much potential to go forward. We’re just scraping the surface at the moment which is really so exciting,” Morrison said.

Steel’s next assignment is looming against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in Dunedin on Sunday.

“It’s going to be awesome to play at home. We want lots of noise and lots of people there.”

It’s a hectic day for Morrison who has dual roles as head coach of the Southern Blast team which will compete in the curtain-raiser National Netball League game against their Waikato counterparts. She was determined to see an improved performance after last weekend’s 41-55 loss against Mainland.

“That was not our best so I’m looking forward to seeing how we back up and really show what we can do,” she said.

“In that Blast side we’ve got a very young team just starting on their netball journey but some really exciting talent.

“The key in this development space is being able to put it out there under pressure and that’s something we haven’t been very consistent with.”

The Blast game starts at 2pm followed by Steel at 4pm. Tickets are available online at www.ticketek.co.nz or from the Edgar Centre.