KEEN EYE: Steph Wood in action for Australia against Northern Ireland during the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast.
KEEN EYE: Steph Wood in action for Australia against Northern Ireland during the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast. Bradley Kanaris

Wood trusted shooting ability, even when others didn't

NETBALL: Australian goal attack Stephanie Wood has always taken pride in her shooting ability, even when others had cast their doubts.

The 26-year-old, who has helped the Diamonds into Saturday's semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games, has developed a reputation in recent seasons for scoring long range goals.

She nailed some key hoops from distance for the Sunshine Coast Lightning in their Super Netball title winning campaign last year and has became a more valuable player for the national side during the past 18 months.

Wood has always backed herself to score from distance.

"That's probably something I've always prided myself on."

"I am a shorter shooter (167cm). I get told that a lot and when I was younger, it was like 'you've got to move out into the midcourt'.

"But I was determined and "I was like 'na, I'm a shooter'.

"That's kind of always something I've had. I've always been able to shoot from distance."

That aspect of her game works brilliantly with her Lightning and Diamonds team-mate, towering goal shooter Caitlin Bassett.

"When I came into the team and found out C-Bass was there I knew I would need to be able to shoot from far so that it took the pressure off her," Wood said.

"And then when they (the opposition) have to defend me, then it opens up under the posts for her."

It's then that Wood is able to provide Bassett with a trademark pass.

Wood and Susan Pettitt have shared goal attack duties for the Diamonds during the Commonwealth Games, with Wood shooting at about 85 per cent.

Australia play New Zealand on Saturday with the final on Sunday.



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