Southern Steel was formed in 2007 and was a merger of two teams that initially competed in the National Bank Cup, the predecessor to the ANZ Championship. The two former teams were called “Southern Sting” and “Otego Rebels”.
In 2008, Southern Steel was one of the founding members of the ANZ championship. The team’s primary colours are teal and black, and they are known for their tenacity and strong team spirit. The ANZ Championship was a pivotal platform for the growth and exposure of New Zealand netball, allowing the Steel to showcase their talents on an international stage.
In 2017, the ANZ Championship was disbanded, and the trans-Tasman competition was replaced by separate leagues in New Zealand (ANZ Premiership) and Australia (Suncorp Super Netball). Southern Steel continues to compete in the ANZ Premiership, facing off against other top New Zealand franchises, including the Northern Mystics, Central Pulse, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, and Mainland Tactix.
Successes and Challenges
In the early years, the Southern Steel struggled to make a significant impact in the National Bank Cup. However, their fortunes changed when the ANZ Championship was established in 2008 as a trans-Tasman competition, featuring five teams from New Zealand and five teams from Australia.
The Steel had their breakthrough season in 2010 when they finished runners-up in the ANZ Championship. Coached by Robyn Broughton, the team showcased their immense talent and determination, capturing the attention of netball fans across the region. This marked a turning point for the franchise, establishing them as a force to be reckoned with in the competition.
Notable moments in the Southern Steel’s history include their triumph in the 2017 ANZ Premiership. Led by coach Reinga Bloxham, the team dominated the regular season and went on to win the grand finale against the Central Pulse, securing their first ANZ Premiership title.