The message from Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Cara Koenen ahead of the West Coast Fever Semi-Final is simple, and the shooter is ready to compete.
Lightning will go head-to-head with the Perth side at Nissan Arena in the elimination final this weekend and Koenen hopes her side can replicate the strategy that afforded them the win in Round 10.
“We’ve got to make sure we rock up on the day, keep ball when we’ve got it in attack and punish them on the scoreboard when we win ball in defence,” Koenen said.
While dominating the competition early in the season, Fever have dropped each of their games against top 4 sides Lightning, GIANTS Netball and NSW Swifts in the back half of the season.
Koenen believes that knowledge and the confidence internally at Lightning puts the team in a good position to punish Fever come Saturday.
Of course, she is not taking the opposition lightly.
“The Fever started the season really, really strong but they are definitely beatable and there are areas we can expose them,” Koenen said.
“It’s literally anyone’s game – we’ve all taken wins off one another and we’ve all been beaten by one another.
“I think it will be a tight battle, finals always are, it’s a whole other ball game and we all start from scratch now.”
The shooter credited Lightning’s defensive efforts in Round 10 for restricting Fever’s ability to cleanly deliver the ball to Jhaniele Fowler.
The Semi-Final will again require that full court defence if Lightning want to gain momentum and play out the 60 minutes on their own terms.
“Last time we played them our defence did an incredible job against Jhaniele and that came through the work that was done out the front through Maddy [McAuliffe] and Mahalia [Cassidy] through that Centre and Wing Defence position.”
Sunshine Coast Lightning will play off against West Coast Fever in the elimination Semi-Final on Saturday 14 August from 3pm at Nissan Arena.
Tickets are now available via Ticketek, while the game will also be broadcast live via Channel 9.