An extra time defeat over GIANTS Netball has secured Sunshine Coast Lightning’s fifth finals berth but Assistant Coach Chris Voge says the win means so much more than that.
While the ladder points ensure Lightning take ownership of their own finals qualification, the game also provided a confidence boost for the team, delivering under pressure.
“It was an important game for the confidence of the team – it’s important as a group that we reconnect and build that confidence,” Voge said.
“We had to deliver in extra time, in a stressful situation and we came through.”
The coaching group had a level of comfort heading into extra time that the team had the endurance base to grind out a win.
However, Voge knew it would take everything from each of the 7 players on court in those 5 minutes.
“Going into extra time, even though we had a few injuries and niggles, looking at the group we thought we had the fitness and drive to finish off the game,” she said.
“We reminded the team that the GIANTS did look a bit tired and we needed to dig deep, use our base and all our training to push through.
“We train for that week in, week out to deliver more than 60 minutes, so we knew we could do that.”
GIANTS are known for their physicality and that took its toll on both sides across the four quarters, headed into extra time.
Voge said a consistent message at each break was for Lightning to keep their composure and smarts that is trademark of the team’s style, which ultimately led to their success.
“Every game we play against GIANTS is definitely a physical encounter and we knew that going into the match and we prepared for that,” she said.
“At times we had to be careful not to get wrapped up in that and have calm cool heads – I think we were the more composed team which showed at the end.”