East meets west in Round 10 battle

Sunshine Coast Lightning will journey west this weekend to challenge ladder leader West Coast Fever as part of Round 10 of Suncorp Super Netball.

Lightning Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne said the team was preparing to come out firing, with a view to take away as many bonus points as possible.

“Coming off the back of the win against Firebirds on the weekend, everyone’s in a really good frame of mind,” Byrne said.

“Getting that win in the last minute was exactly the right preparation for us so we’re looking forward to taking on Fever.

“Having to compete with Romelda Aiken was a really good test and we feel we’ve got the game plan in place to stop Jhaniele Fowler.”

Byrne said Lightning would not be changing its game plan too dramatically from its Round 3 face-off with Fever.

“We’ve had a re-look at that first round and we only lost by one goal. We held Fever to under 60 goals and particularly their goal shooter to in the 30s and no other team has done that.

“That match was off the back of the Commonwealth Games and we were just finding our feet so looking at the video, we’re in a much better place from that game and have that general feel that we’ve grown and we’re a better team.

“We’re working on creating opportunities for Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorius in defence, but most importantly, it’s when we get the ball that we have to score from it.”

Lightning player Kelsey Browne echoed Byrne’s sentiments, highlighting the importance of capitalising on any opportunities to get the ball into the shooting circle.

“We know that we don’t get a lot of ball off Fever. We just want to make sure we convert when we do,” Browne said.

“You can do a good job on players like Jhaniele Fowler but she’s still going to have that volume of goals. It’s what we can do out the front of her around the likes of Nat Medhurst who delivers really good ball into Jhaniele.

“Obviously our mid-courters out the front will be looking at shutting down their players as well.”

Browne said Lightning’s strength rested in its ability to play its own personal brand of netball.

“We play a particular style of netball that other teams don’t and that’s our weapon; we need to make sure we stick to it. That’s when we come away with wins,” she said.

“The competition is getting much more physical and the games are more tightly contested. For us, it is just about going back to what we know how to do.

“If we do get on top it’s about pushing out that lead. Hopefully we can go over to Perth and keep building on what we put out against Firebirds over the weekend.”

Lightning will take on West Coast Fever at HBF Stadium in Perth on Saturday, 7 July. The match will be broadcast live on Telstra TV and the Netball Live app.

Sunshine Coast Lightning 2018 memberships are available at sunshinecoastlightning.com.au.