Lightning set to strike in Sydney

In a repeat of the 2017 Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final, Sunshine Coast Lightning will go head-to-head with GIANTS Netball this weekend in a knockout preliminary final.

Lightning mid-courter Laura Scherian said the team was in good form leading into the 19 August game.

“It’s an exciting match up for this weekend and we’re ready and raring to go,” Scherian said.

“We’ve got massive belief that we can do this this weekend. I think we’ve been building through the second half of the season and we can’t wait to get out there on Sunday and play.

“There’s definitely an extra buzz around the Club being finals and we’re loving every moment of training.”

Scherian said she wasn’t underestimating the GIANTS players’ capabilities on the court and knew Lightning would have a fight on its hands.

“I think their whole attack end is extremely smart and Kim Green in wing attack is definitely a strong force.

“GIANTS have got some mature players that have lots of experience out there on court as well as in finals netball.

“Their goal circle is quite different; it’s a lot of moving play rather than standing and holding so we’ll definitely switch up our defence down that end this weekend.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne said while thoughts of making the grand final certainly loomed, the team’s focus at present was on taking home the win this weekend.

“There’s certainly that sense of ‘let’s get this one done. Let’s knuckle down and do the job’,” Byrne said.

“We’ve had a week where we’ve focused on us and what we need to do to improve and we’re feeling good leading into Sunday.

“GIANTS are a team with seven or eight players that can put their hand up. They can swing positions and we’ve got to be ready for what comes at us.”

Byrne said Lightning was far from daunted at the prospect of playing on GIANTS’ home ground.

“We know the GIANTS have a huge following. Their fan base is really loud – probably the second loudest after ours, so we know what we’re walking into.

“A lot of the players that were here last year have said they know what to expect now.

“Where they had nerves and excitement last year, it’s not there yet. It’s just business as usual.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning will take on GIANTS Netball at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday, 19 August at 1pm AEST. The match will be broadcast live on the Nine Network and Netball Live app.