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Lightning Defensive Duo In Formidable Form

Karla Pretorius is the best Goal Defence in the world.

Big call. But it’s a statement that Sunshine Coast Lightning Head Coach Noeline Taurua made without hesitation.

“Yeah definitely [the best] and I don’t hesitate in that respect, she has been for awhile,” Taurua said.

“But I think what she’s been able to do so far in SSN is cement that.

“She’s so clean on the ball but she does turnover the ball for the opposition.

“And she’ll be a pain to play against for the opposition, so we’re really happy to have her on our side.”

The 29-year-old this week became the first Suncorp Super Netball player to surpass 100 intercepts in the competition – with 18 in the first three games of the season.

However she’s not the only Lightning defender turning heads.

The pairing of Pretorius and Goal Keeper Phumza Maweni may be new to Lightning fans, but the duo have played plenty of game time side by side representing their country.

And it’s a combination that will no doubt frighten the opposition’s attacking end in weeks to come.

Maweni has played three games in Lightning colours in the Suncorp Super Netball.

And while she’s felt the lift in standards from the English Superleague that she was accustomed to, there’s comfort in having Pretorius on court beside her.

“It’s amazing – the communication with me and Karla, it’s really, really improved each and every day – even the wing defence and centre we’re one unit,” Maweni said.

“I’m proud of myself because I quickly adapted to the style of play and the speed of the ball, it’s becoming easier for me.”

Maweni confessed that as a defensive group they have an unorthodox way of keeping confidence levels high and the communication fluid.

Instead of just celebrating the wins, Maweni and Pretorius celebrate all the minor influences they have on the game – the wins, the turnovers and the losses.

Acknowledge the error and move on, knowing you have the support of your teammates just metres away.

“Me and Karla if you watch the game we always celebrate – even making errors,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re doing… let’s celebrate the minor things to pick up the confidence, the communication, the connection – even with the wing defence and centre.”

Lightning take on NSW Swifts on Saturday 18 May from 1pm at Quaycentre in Sydney.

Then don’t miss the Sunshine Coast Lightning’s first home game at the redeveloped USC Stadium in Round Five! Secure your tickets now to witness all the action live on Saturday 25 May when they take on the GWS Giants.