Lightning Determined To Secure Top Two Spot

The eye is on the prize at Sunshine Coast Lightning with Head Coach Kylee Byrne eager to cement a spot in the Major Semi Final and guarantee a double chance at a fourth consecutive Grand Final berth.

Lightning will compete in a top of the table battle against Melbourne Vixens on Sunday in the final match of the home and away season.

Byrne said the game posed as a strong platform to prepare for the increased demands and intensity of finals netball.

“That’s what this is all about – it’s a great build up in the end, it will be a top of a table clash,” Byrne said.

“It sets it up now for a really good finals series.

“We want that top two position, so destiny is in our hands now – we have to take that next one.”

The Coach believes the clinical Vixens match up well against Lightning, with the weekend’s game shaping up to be an exciting game of netball.

“We always have a skilled game with the Vixens, it brings out the best in both teams,” she said.

“I think it’s the perfect way to, one, end the rounds and, two, go into the finals series.”

The two teams have not met since Round 3 when Vixens defeated Lightning by 12 goals.

Vixens suffered their second loss of the season over the weekend against Queensland Firebirds, meanwhile Lightning are coming off a 10 goal defeat over Collingwood Magpies.

Byrne was confident in her team’s ability to build towards the business end of the season, with Lightning seeing a lift in form in recent weeks.

“I’m happy with the result, I would have liked to see us win by a little more on the scoreboard but in the end it was a real grind and we’ll take the win against Magpies,” she said.

Positional depth has continued to be a feature in Lightning’s arsenal in 2020 and that was on show when Byrne gave extended squad members Ashlee Unie and Binnian Hunt extra court time on Wednesday.

“They’ve been waiting for an opportunity and they’ve had small minutes here or there, but I wanted to see if they could run out quarters or a good 10 or 15 minutes,” she said.

“I was happy with both Ash Unie and Binnian Hunt today I thought they brought those fresh legs that we needed particularly when both teams were getting a bit tired.

“I’m very happy with their performance.”