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Lightning gears up for grand final rematch

Sunshine Coast Lightning will go head-to-head with GIANTS Netball this weekend in a Suncorp Super Netball 2017 grand final rematch at USC Stadium.

Lightning Head Coach Noeline Taurua said she anticipated both teams would be put to the test in what was sure to be an action-packed Round 8 game.

“The Giants are such smart campaigners in their attacking end, particularly with players like Kimberlee Green, Susan Pettitt and Jo Harten taking to the court,” Taurua said.

“All three of those players can play different positions and they have massive international experience, making them formidable opponents. They’re a fantastic team.

“The Giants’ defenders are typically quite physical so we’re expecting our shooters will have their work cut out for them at Saturday’s game.”

Taurua said she looked forward to squaring up against GIANTS Netball Head Coach Julie Fitzgerald on 23 June.

“I’ve got such respect for Julie and the teams she coaches,” she said.

“Julie and I have regularly come up against each other in either semis or finals. Every time we play against one another we know it’s going to be a fantastic game.”

Lightning Captain Geva Mentor said following a tight game against Giants in the first round of the 2018 season, the team was eager to secure a win in Round 8.

“The Giants pipped us to the post at the beginning of the season,” Mentor said.

“We know they’ve improved a lot but we think we have as well. If we come out of the blocks in the right way, it’s going to be a really good contest.

“Each week we step out we’re focusing on moving forward and tackling the areas that need addressing.

“If we want to make sure we’re in the right contention for finals then it’s really important we stamp our mark now.”

Mentor will face off against fellow England Roses players Jo Harten and Serena Guthrie at this weekend’s match.

“I’m feeling good and Karla (Pretorius) and I are looking forward to really firing this weekend and turning over as much ball as we can,” she said.

“Giants are a team that don’t cough up the ball too much so it’s important that we can turn over theirs and score off that.

“For us, it’s about providing our attack end with enough opportunities and making sure we’re strong on every area of the court.

“I think it’s going to be a good battle out there.”

Lightning will play GIANTS Netball this Saturday, 23 June at 3pm at USC Stadium. The sold-out match will be broadcast live on the Nine Network and the Netball Live App. Sunshine Coast Lightning 2018 memberships are available at sunshinecoastlightning.com.au.