The Southern Steel got their ANZ Championship netball season off to a winning start on Saturday by beating the Mainland Tactix 68-54 in Invercargill.
It was a hungry defensive effort for the Steel, who were relentless as some of their younger stars led the charge for the two key competition points.
It was always going to be a big ask for the Tactix to shut down the almost two-metre tall Steel star shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who goaled 56 from 60 for some impressive 93 percent shooting stats.
But it was at the other end of the court where the visitors struggled most as the defensive combination of Storm Purvis and Phoenix Karaka stole the spotlight.
Karaka was particularly impressive at goal defence where she played three quarters of the game picking up four intercepts and seven deflections.
The defence end was inspired by captain Wendy Frew who was dogged with her efforts outside of the circle and pressured the Tactix into errors.