There’s more than one way to react to the Sunshine Coast Lightning’s last start Suncorp Super Netball loss, according to Assistant Coach Vicki Wilson.

Looking forward, not back, is the priority for the team as they prepare for Saturday’s home game against the seventh-placed Adelaide Thunderbirds.

“Playing the Thunderbirds is a wonderful opportunity to get our wheels back on track,” Wilson said.

“The Thunderbirds provide us with a great opportunity to find that rhythm and timing we know we’re capable of.

“We have the absolute confidence in each of the players. We know that if we stick to our game plan, our structures, we will be more than competitive.”

Their unshakeable confidence meant they could quickly “close the loop” on their loss to the GIANTS and move forward, according to Captain Steph Wood.

Among the lessons learned were that the sixth-placed Lightning are only a win outside the top four and that they still control their finals prospects.

“We know we’re still in with a chance for finals,” Wood said.

“If we win every game, we give ourselves our best chance for finals.”

Wilson said another realisation for the Sunshine Coast was the importance of being more aggressive during the super shot period.

Wood and Reilley Batcheldor are among the deadliest long-range shooters in the league. The last five minutes of each term provide a crucial opportunity to keep pace with opponents on a super shot spree or to go on a pre-emptive long bombing sequence.

Goal shooter Cara Koenen is a good chance of returning to the team after missing the GIANTS game due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

While her expected comeback will be welcome, Wilson is delighted with Batcheldor’s progress.

“Every time Reilley steps on court she’s getting better and better,” the former Australian Captain said.

“It’s such a huge step from state league competition into the daily grind of Suncorp.

“We’re delighted with the growth we’ve seen in Reilley. She’s an amazing goaler and we expect her to take another step forward.”

The Thunderbirds clash is the beginning of a welcome three-game stretch at USC Stadium. Lightning next face the West Coast Fever and NSW Swifts at home in a run that could shape their season.

Tickets are on sale now for the Lightning v Thunderbirds match at USC Stadium on Saturday 7 May 2022, from 7pm

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