Lightning Prepare To Play Swifts’ Best

If Sunshine Coast Lightning’s first two encounters with NSW Swifts in 2019 are in any way indicative of this weekend’s Major Semi Final, the game will be physical, close and exhilarating to watch.

Lightning are preparing to face a firing Swifts and are under no illusion of the tough task that presents itself come Saturday 3pm.

“Finals is a totally different game – it’s the most cliché thing ever but it is. It’s a clean slate from here,” Maddy McAuliffe said.

“You just don’t know what teams are going to come out with, so we just have to step it up another level and be prepared.

“Swifts are a really clinical team, they don’t make a lot of errors, so when we do get the ball, we have to capitalise on that.”

Head Coach Noeline Taurua had high praise for the opposition and the fight they have shown throughout the entire season, stating she is excited to see how this weekend unfolds.

“Their form has been sublime, it definitely could have gone either way who was going to be number 1 and 2 [on the ladder],” Head Coach Noeline Taurua said.

“They are going to be amazing out there and that’s what we’re expecting.

“They don’t cough up too much ball and they are very motivated to take [the win and a Grand Final] back to their home town.

“It’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Lightning are no stranger to finals and one learning from previous years is to remain open and honest as a team as pressure mounts.

“Something we’ve done quite well in the past two finals series’ is to be really open with each other on how we’re feeling, whether it’s nerves or excitement,” McAuliffe said.

“Because it is nice to know you’re not alone, that’s the best thing – you have a team around you and we have support staff, so if we can keep that communication open it tends to go well.”

Lightning will compete in the Major Semi Final against NSW Swifts on Saturday from 3pm at USC Stadium. Watch the game live on Channel 9 or via the Netball Live mobile app.