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Lightning To Learn From Round 14

Finals netball brings with it a new intensity and Sunshine Coast Lightning are preparing for an arm wrestle against Melbourne Vixens in Saturday’s Major Semi Final.

Captain Laura Langman said all bets are off once you enter finals, as teams vie for the eventual top spot of season 2020.

“That’s what finals is all about – you get through round robin and you have to be prepared to front,” Langman said.

Lightning will play the Minor Premiers for a second time in 7 days on Saturday and Langman said the Vixens style of play and defensive pressure remains fresh in the team’s mind.

“The Vixens are number one for a reason – they have sensational ability to score fast, they don’t throw the ball away and their defence are relentless from the pressure they exert from the very first whistle.

“It’s going to be an arm wrestle and we just need to get into our work and play to the conditions.”

A return to one game a week has been welcomed by Lightning, allowing for a more thorough review of each game and time to implement and trial strategies in court sessions.

“We’ve had the ability to sit down and knuckle out the conditions we work well in and those sticky situations that we find troubling to get ourselves out of,” she said.

“We’ve had some good court sessions and we’re looking forward to playing – energy is high.”

Lightning fell to Vixens by four goals in Round 14 but Laura Scherian said the team were eager to return to court after a productive week at training implementing learnings from the weekend’s game.

“We’re feeling great coming out of training so we’re looking forward to it,” she said.

“It was a close game and we’ve gone through a lot of video footage this week and learnt a lot from it, we can’t wait to get back out on court and put it out there.”

Shooter Steph Wood sees the six day turn around as a motivating factor.

“Last weekend we were able to gather some information about them too, we were able to put people out on court [to trial what works],” Wood said.

“It’s only six days from the last time we played then but I think it’s a good thing, we don’t have to think back to a few weeks ago, we can hit them again.

“Anything we do gain, we need to score off.”

The top four of Vixens, Lightning, West Coast Fever and NSW Swifts have been dominant in the back half of the season and while Vixens hold the ‘favourite’ tag, Wood said no team can be discounted.

“I think all the teams in the finals can win it – I don’t think there’s one team where you can say they don’t have a chance,” Wood said.

“Each team has something different.”