The Southern Steel continued their unbeaten season run comfortably beating the Central Pulse in the ANZ netball premiership final in Invercargill last night.
The Steel ran out 69-53 winners after building an eight goal lead by the end of the first quarter and extending that to 15 by halftime.
Steel captain Wendy Frew led from the front despite only having the last of 70 stitches removed a couple of days ago, after being injured when the team van was involved in a crash in Christchurch a couple of weeks ago.
"Adrenaline's pumping I can tell you. There was just a new belief in the environment when you go through something like that, it was pretty emotional for a long time, it's still emotional now but it brought us stronger together as a group.
"Throughout the season I didn't think we could get stronger as a group but it really did. It's an unreal feeling, obviously what happened wasn't a good thing but it brought us together and I think it showed out there (on the court)," Frew said.
It didn't take long for the Southern Steel to establish a buffer early on, with Jamaican import Jhaniele Fowler-Reid quickly getting into her stride.
She was well supported by Te Paea Selby-Rickit, who returned to the court for the final after being injured in the team's van crash a couple of weeks ago.
Look back at how the game unfolded here.
At the Pulse shooting end, the visitors struggled to find rhythm on attack.
Cathrine Tuivaiti and Tiana Metuarau, who combined so well in their elimination final win over the Mystics, were at times on top of each other.
That was testament to the good work of Jane Watson and Te Huinga Selby-Rickit, who have formed a formidable defensive combination.
After the first quarter the Steel led 18-10.
The Steel were as frugal as ever on attack, conceding only 16 turnovers to the Pulse's 23.
The hosts pulled away further in the second quarter to lead by 15 goals at the half-time break.
Fowler-Reid was the main shooting weapon for the Steel in stark contrast to the Pulse.
Goal attack Metuarau put up one more goal than Tuivaiti, finishing with 27/30.
Phoenix Karaka and Katrina Grant worked hard but didn't have much joy in the defensive circle for the Pulse.
The Pulse put on a better third quarter, losing it by just two goals, as Metuarau grew in confidence.
Heading into the final quarter the Steel led 55-38 but Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie stuck with her starting seven.
The Steel also ran with their top seven that served them so well throughout the season.
The Pulse won the final quarter by one goal but it was too little, too late.
Fowler-Reid shot the lights out, ending with stats of 56/60.