Lightning Aim To Take Vixens Out Of Comfort Zone

Even the most well-drilled teams need to be able to adapt their game plan when pressure mounts.

And that knowledge may be what Sunshine Coast Lightning Coach Noeline Taurua draws on when coming up against a polished by regimented Melbourne Vixens on Saturday.

Both Lightning and Vixens play a – different but – distinct brand of netball that is hard to nullify when momentum swings their way.

But the best teams find a way to grind and compete even when the opposition control the tempo – a proven trait from Lightning in recent weeks, but an area that fell short for Vixens in round five.

“I think they are so structured they are so professional in what they do and that’s a strength of theirs,” Taurua said.

“But sometimes knowing your strength is also your weakness as well.

“It’s not necessarily easy to know what they’re going to do – because you still have to combat it – but when pressure comes on, do they have something to fall back on?

“You can look at it two different sides – they are so confident in what they do and that’s a really good thing, but it’s up to the opposition to nullify that.

“Time will tell on the weekend where it fits and sits for us, always knowing they’re going to be tough – that’s a common thread we know against Vixens.”

The opposition started the year strongly but a consecutive draw and loss in rounds four and five will see the Melbourne side eager to return to the winner’s list.

The match against the Swifts indicates that limiting the influence of the Vixens’ midcourt is the most impactful way of shutting down their style of play.

However, history shows there’s no easy quarters, let alone wins, when up against the Vixens.

“Always with Vixens, I’ve got a lot of respect with that team,” Taurua said.

“Victorians are so structured, they don’t cough up too much ball, they’re going to be tight.

“They’re fierce contenders and I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning will face off against Melbourne Vixens on Saturday 1 June, from 3pm. Then stick around to support Lightning’s ANL affiliate Territory Storm when they take to the court from 5:45pm.