Lightning To Finally Face Fever in 2020
More than 12 months has passed since Sunshine Coast Lightning last lined up against West Coast Fever in season proper.
While recent form between the two sides falls Lightning’s way, Head Coach Kylee Byrne knows they’re a team with something to gain come Sunday at Nissan Arena.
The Western Australia outfit broke into the top four after a convincing win against Collingwood Magpies this week, but their placing currently relies on percentage alone.
Byrne said Fever have been on her radar this season and will not be treating Sunday’s match lightly, as Fever look to firm their position in the finals’ race.
“At the start of the year I tipped them to be really strong contenders,” Byrne said.
“I think they’re hurting a bit from their early season form and a few losses they didn’t expect.”
Fever’s 14 goal defeat over the Magpies will give them confidence, with the added advantage of having played 6 of their 7 matches at Nissan Arena this season, compared to Lightning’s 2.
“I thought they were outstanding on Tuesday, so I think they’re back and we have to be ready for them,” she said.
Lightning are coming off just their second loss of the season, falling to NSW Swifts on Wednesday by 7.
The result alone does not paint the full picture and Byrne said the game was indicative of another fierce Grand Final re-match.
“The top 3 at the moment are going to do this to each other and take those games away,” Byrne said.
“There was a moment at the end of the second quarter where I thought ‘how long can both teams sustain this’.
“The movement was so quick and fast from both teams and the way the ball moved down the court – I think it was worthy of a top 3 game.
“I knew at some point one team would come unstuck.
“Right up until the end I still thought we were in it, they got on top of us and gained momentum in that second half and we gave up ball a little too easily.”
It was just 10 days earlier that Lightning defeated Swifts by 7 goals in front of a home crowd at USC Stadium in Round 4.