Heated Battles Dictate SSN Round 5
The league-wide depth of the Suncorp Super Netball competition was on show in Round 5 with 3 out of 4 games decided by 2 goals or less.
Sunshine Coast Lightning competed in 1 such match, taking home the points in a nail-biting win against Adelaide Thunderbirds, decided by the smallest of margins.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne said Thunderbirds provided quality opposition throughout the 4 quarters but was pleased her side came out on top.
“Thunderbirds are on the move I don’t think it will be too long before they get a scalp – they certainly took it to us on the weekend,” Byrne said.
“We knew that was coming, particularly playing in front of their home crowd which they didn’t get to a lot of last year.
“We appreciate how hard it was but to come away with the points was a real positive.”
This week Lightning face a heated Queensland derby against a hurting Firebirds who fell to the Melbourne Vixens by 2 goals on Saturday.
Lightning will host the Firebirds at USC Stadium in the first game of a double header, with Melbourne Vixens to take on Adelaide Thunderbirds at the same venue after Victorian games were forced to relocate.
Byrne took time to reflect on the personal sacrifices teams are once again forced to make to counter the evolving Covid-19 pandemic and current Melbourne cluster.
“The sacrifices that everyone is making – coaches, physios, athletes – to keep our Suncorp Super Netball league playing is huge,” she said.
“We can’t underestimate what everyone has been going through, we were lucky not to be directly impacted but we certainly watched all the other teams and matches unfold and unfold quickly.
“People have to pick up plans and move and that could be us next week.
“We take our hats off to what everyone is doing in this sport to keep it on the go.”
Byrne highlighted Giants Netball’s April Brandley choice to put family first ahead of last weekend’s game in Perth and how we need to keep perspective.
“Looking individually at an April Brandley and what she had to do while she’s being a mum – it puts things into perspective for us and we talked about that as a group,” she said.
“It’s always people and family first and we do that at Lightning well and we know every other club does it as well.
“It was a huge move from April and we are really grateful for those individual sacrifices.”