Stop Jhaniele Fowler or shut down the West Coast Fever feeders?
Sunshine Coast Lightning Coach Kylee Byrne says it’s reasonable to ask for both in the side’s Suncorp Super Netball Pride Match against the league-leading Fever on Saturday.
The question over how to limit the influence of Fever shooter Fowler has almost become a rhetorical one for opponents.
Fowler averages 57 points per game this season but Fever are not unbeatable according to Byrne who has devised a plan to both curb Fowler and limit her supply.
“This week we’ve got a balance between both,” Byrne said.
“We’re not that team that you saw against the Fever in Round 1. We’ve seen the defence grow over the last five rounds.
“To be consistently in the contest has been a feature.”
Mahalia Cassidy will be part of the midcourt strategy to tackle Fever engine room which has numerous combinations to throw at Lightning on Saturday at USC Stadium.
Laura Scherian has been called on in recent weeks to play a role at centre, Maddie Hinchliffe offers versatility and Kate Walsh could provide a taller option at wing defence.
“We’re ready for whatever they throw out,” Cassidy said.
“At the end of the day it’s about us and what structures we put out there.
“We need to concentrate on what they put out, but if we can do our job and do it well, we’ll have a fair chance.”
In a first for the two clubs, Lightning and Fever will celebrate Pride Match ‘AS ONE’.
It will be a celebration of diversity, equity and inclusion, with the teams to wear pride bibs as well as having the option to wear rainbow shoelaces to embody the spirit that everybody belongs in netball.
Coaches, bench officials and commentators will also show their support by wearing rainbow badges.
Court decals and rainbow themed match day activities will add to the atmosphere and fans are encouraged to follow each of the clubs’ social accounts to participate in discussions around inclusion.
“I’m so excited to be part of the Pride Match,” Cassidy said. “It’s something that I’ve been passionate about for a long time.”