For the last time this season, Sunshine Coast Lightning will host the Queensland Firebirds in front of a sold-out crowd at UniSC Arena.

Both teams will be competing for the Queensland Cup — a trophy awarded to the winning team each time the clubs play each other during the regular season.

The two teams haven’t played each other since Round 2 at Nissan Arena, where Lightning was victorious in securing the trophy, so the two Queensland teams will be hungry for the win.

Lightning Head Coach Belinda Reynolds said her side plans to give it their all this weekend to secure fifth on the ladder.

“We were really proud of our performance in Adelaide. I thought we were disciplined in attack and brave in defence. We were focused and we really wanted to win,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to this last game on our home court here at UniSC. We love our fans on the Sunshine Coast and we can’t wait to put on a really good display for them.

“You always want to finish off the season strong and we are looking to finish fifth. We’ve made that very apparent since we fell out of the four, so that’s absolutely the plan — to win the game and play well.”

Lightning player Annie Miller is looking forward to finishing off the season at home, and reflected on the season that was.

“It’s nice to finish off playing here at home and playing another Queensland team. There’s definitely still a lot to play for — it’s the derby so we both want to be the ones holding the trophy at the end. The Firebirds have had some good games the last couple of rounds so we’re looking to finish the season off on a high,” she said.

“Hindsight is a beautiful thing and you do look back and regret some moments we had out on court. But at the end of the day we’re still really proud of what we put out. We’ve faced a lot of adversity this season with players out and new staff coming in.

“Every game is a learning opportunity. Looking at seasons ahead — whether it’s here at Lightning or wherever — its definitely something I’ll remember and try to learn from all those experiences.”

While the team has experienced a number of changes in the roster this season, Reynolds has been impressed with how her players dealt with the challenges.

“I’m most proud of our culture and the way we’ve acted as a group — we’ve been really professional. We’ve built on our performances and we’ve enjoyed the ride together, even though its had plenty of adversities as well as the development of our youth in our roster. We’ve got some exciting talent coming through the system, so we can’t wait for next year,” she said.

Sunshine Coast Lightning will play the Queensland Firebirds this Sunday at 2pm at UniSC Arena. Watch the game live and free via Kayo Freebies: https://goto.kayosports.com.au/y2reVv

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