Lightning Eager To Atone Against Fever
West Coast Fever has a point to prove in Saturday night’s clash at USC Stadium but so do Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne said while the driving motivation is different between the two sides, you cannot discount Lightning’s determination to secure their third consecutive win.
“Every team wants to win every game,” Byrne said.
“In the end we want to set ourselves up as much as we can for finals and to be in that Grand Final.
“We are going with the mindset that they need it, but so do we.”
Adding fuel to the fire, Lightning suffered three significant losses to Fever in 2020 and will be looking to atone for those performances – including the Preliminary Final loss.
“We were embarrassed by those performances last year – we don’t want to feel like that again,” she said.
“We were disappointed in ourselves and how we played, and the netball we put out there.
“It is really ringing in our ear those losses and we want to make up for it.
“But at the same time, we don’t want to focus purely on revenge as our main motivation.”
Vice-Captain Steph Wood reiterated Byrne’s hurt from last year’s games against Fever and said a win in front of a home crowd would be an apt reward.
“They got the better of us last year with two quite significant losses, I want to come out and put a really good performance on – especially in front of our home crowd in our first home game,” Wood said.
“They’re playing for a lot too being they’re on negative 4 points – so they want to get onto zero points as quickly as possible.
“I’d love to disrupt that.”
Curbing Fever shooter Jhaniele Fowler’s access to the ball is key to overcoming the Perth side and that starts with a full court defence.
“If you can stop the ball before it gets to Jhaniele, that’s the big thing,” she said.
“She can be unstoppable, so we have to stop the ball before then and that doesn’t start in the midcourt that starts before then in attack if there’s a turnover.
“We need to stop it before it gets to the other end of the court.”
Fever have defeated both 2020 finalists Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts by 14 and 8 goals respectively but Wood said analysing those games could unveil key strategies to get on top.
“We will look at the two games that they’ve played this year, because other teams have challenged them,” she said.
“You get 50% of the ball in netball, so if we score off every centre pass that we get it’s going to make it tough for them as well.”