More supply to Diamonds shooter Cara Koenen is the blueprint for the Sunshine Coast Lightning as they re-set for a Round 5 Suncorp Super Netball showdown at home against the Melbourne Vixens.
Lightning have just two full recovery days but are excited about the challenge of hosting the competition-leading Vixens at USC Stadium on Saturday.
They had hoped to return to the Sunshine Coast with consecutive wins from their two-game road trip but are hungry for improvement after a narrow win against the Adelaide Thunderbirds and a loss to the Collingwood Magpies.
One of the keys to success against the Vixens will be creating more opportunities for Koenen.
Lightning have a Ferrari in their garage, and it’s up to the team to make better use of it by delivering more shots for their attacking target.
Koenen’s 32 goals at 97 per cent accuracy was a fine performance but the side can only ponder what might have been against the Magpies had they been able to create another 10 opportunities for the shooter.
“I thought Cara Koenen was back to her baseline best, and also coupled with 32-from-33 goals meant we need to get the ball to her more,” Coach Kylee Byrne said.
If Lightning can minimise their lapses, they will challenge the Vixens. The two teams split their head-to-head match-ups last year and Lightning defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney will be up against her former club for the first time.
Steph Wood has found her feet after COVID-19 forced her out of the Round 2 loss to the Queensland Firebirds and Mahalia Cassidy looks set for an engrossing duel with Diamonds Captain Liz Watson.
“We are now fired up to put out our best display of the season so far in front of our home crowd and there’s no better motivation than against the ladder leaders,” Byrne said.
“We are well aware of the enormity of this task, especially after three games in six days and travel for each one but we do match up really well against the Vixens.
“We will have to be at our clinical best against them and after conceding our lowest turnovers for the season (17) we are confident we can come away with the win.
“This focus will still be on building pressure to win ball and make sure any errors from them are punished with goals from us.”