Rivals Lightning And Vixens Ready

A defining match against Melbourne Vixens looms for Sunshine Coast Lightning this weekend and Head Coach Noeline Taurua believes her side is ready for battle.

Vixens notched the win last time the two teams met but after watching the tapes back this week Taurua is confident in the gains Lightning have made since that match.

“I feel we play similar styles, we play clean netball and I feel that adds to the quality of the game,” Taurua said.

“We do look at past games – whether we have won or not – and when I did view the footage, gosh, we’ve learnt so much and shifted – and they have as well.

“We have consolidated our units more and have [a stronger] understanding on the strategy – we just need to put that out on court.”

The clash will go a long way to determining which of the two sides finish top two and are subsequently rewarded with a double chance come finals.

Lightning have won all six games since their meeting with Vixens and Taurua said her team is on the precipice of taking their game to the next level.

“I feel we’re on the cusp of cracking it open, I really do,” Taurua said.

“There’s moments where we have the opposition under pressure and then we relieve that pressure through errors or not quite reading where the play needs to go.

“But I feel each week we are [putting teams under pressure] and we are on the cusp of pushing it through – I’m really excited about that.”

Lightning and Vixens have seen a number of highly competitive outings in the past and the team doesn’t expect anything less come Sunday.

“That pressure that’s going to be out there is going to put us in the right stead for the business end of the season,” she said.

“If we can withstand that playing away from home, that’s always a bonus for us going forward.”

Shooter Steph Wood reiterated the coach’s comments around the team’s history with Vixens.

“Vixens – we’ve definitely got a bit of a rivalry,” Wood said.

“It’ll be a tough match, we line up quite evenly across the court.

“It will be whoever turns up on the day and so we have to make sure that’s us.”

Lightning take on Melbourne Vixens at Melbourne arena at 3pm on Sunday 18 August 2019 in the second last game of season proper. You can watch the game live on TelstraTV and the Netball Live mobile app.