Lightning storms up league ladder

Sunshine Coast Lightning has rocketed its way up the Suncorp Super Netball ladder, securing a win and all four bonus points in its clash against Adelaide Thunderbirds at USC Stadium on Sunday, 27 May.

The defending champions reigned victorious by nine goals, marking their second win in as many weeks.

Lightning Captain Geva Mentor – who celebrated her 150th national league game and was awarded Nissan Most Valuable Player – said the team hadn’t underestimated the South Australians going into Sunday’s match.

“Thunderbirds brought a lot of intensity to this game. I think we got caught up in their style of play, but ultimately we just needed to have confidence in our ability to bring the win home,” Mentor said.

“From game one, we’ve been building all the way through. Scoring the full eight points is a first for us this season and we’re looking forward to building on this momentum.”

Mentor said the Lightning team drew a number of learnings from Sunday’s match.

“There is definitely a lot we can work on, particularly defensively. I don’t think we got enough ball which meant that the score was fairly tight throughout.

“Each time we do step out on court we improve and we learn from what we do. It’s important that we don’t peak too early but we do make sure we’re in contention come the end of the season.

“We had seamless changes with different players coming on, which was great. The team is in good form and training really well so we are confident we can put anyone out on court and they’ll deliver.”

Lightning player Jacqui Russell made her Suncorp Super Netball debut at the match, doggedly defending the transverse line against Thunderbirds’ wing attack.

“I’m really grateful that the Club was willing to invest in me and it’s awesome to be working with Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne once again,” Russell said.

“I’m probably a very different player to when I played with Firebirds. I feel like I’m a lot smarter and have changed physically as well.

“I’ve picked up a few different skills along the way, especially playing with people like Geva and Karla at the defence end.”

Players wore black arm bands at the game in a show of solidarity and support for Head Coach Noeline Taurua whose father passed away last week.

Lightning will play Melbourne Vixens this Saturday, 2 June at 3pm at USC Stadium. The sold-out match will be broadcast live on Nine and the Netball Live App. Sunshine Coast Lightning 2018 memberships are available at sunshinecoastlightning.com.au.