Byrne Inspired By Round 1 Showing

A clear, simple game plan and a united vision led Sunshine Coast Lightning to an 11-goal defeat over Collingwood Magpies in Saturday’s Suncorp Super Netball Round 1 opener.

Head Coach Kylee Byrne saw plenty to like in her team’s dominant outing and believes this performance provides a great foundation to build upon this season.

“I’m really happy to get the points,” Byrne said.

“I loved how calm and controlled everyone who stepped out on the court was, and they went out and executed exactly what we wanted.”

Lightning won all four quarters, including an impressive penultimate quarter, with 21 goals to 16.

The team’s depth was also on show against Magpies and Byrne is confident any player in the squad of 10 is capable of playing their role for the team if given court time.

“At the moment all ten are worthy of getting court time,” she said.

“The versatility is something we’ve spoken a lot of behind the scenes.

“Changes may not be based on poor performance, it is about mixing things up and keeping the opposition guessing – or changing to suit the style of play that we need at that particular time.”

The new Mahalia Cassidy, Laura Scherian midcourt combination bore strong results, combining seamlessly with shooters Steph Wood and Cara Koenen to hit the scoreboard.

In defence, Byrne trialled each of Karla Pretorius, Kate Shimmin and Phumza Maweni for extended stints, supported by Maddy McAuliffe.

“Whether we were settled in a line up for the full 15 minutes or if we made changes, it didn’t matter,” she said.

“Whoever was out there took the opportunity not only for themselves but for the players around them and were able to deliver on the game plan – which we kept pretty simple being Round 1.”

Lightning will return to Melbourne to take on the Melbourne Vixens in Round 2 this Saturday before playing West Coast Fever at home in Round 3.

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