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Round One Is History, Round Eight’s A Mystery, But Lightning Want Win

Looking back at round one of the Suncorp Super Netball season, it was a very different landscape.

That’s what Sunshine Coast Lightning are conscious of heading into their round eight clash against Collingwood Magpies this Saturday.

The Melbourne side handed Lightning a round one loss less than two months ago, but Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne knows her team have made major gains since their first outing.

“It seems like that was a really long time ago and I feel like we’re in a different place,” Byrne said.

“Back then we hadn’t really formed our combinations say with Peace and even Karla and Phumza –although they had played internationally together, they were still working each other out.

“So I think we’ve moved a fair distance since that round one loss.”

That’s not to say the Magpies don’t pose a significant challenge when the clock strikes 3pm Saturday – coming off a confidence-building win against third placed Vixens on Monday.

It’s now Collingwood and GIANTS Netball that are in a stranglehold to enter the World Cup break in that elusive fourth spot, adding more fire to these final two games for the Magpies.

Second-placed Lightning, however, are just as determined to shore-up their position on the ladder and ensure they are best-placed heading into the back end of the season towards finals.

Mid-courter Laura Scherian believes Magpies pose another tough contest but nothing that Lightning can’t prepare for.

“I’m sure they’ll take confidence from that win against the Vixens on the weekend, but we’re growing and progressing as well,” Scherian said.

“They’ll prepare for us as we prepare for them and we’ll go out and have a good battle on Saturday.

The Wing Attack is also keen to go toe-to-toe with former Lighting foundation players Geva Mentor and Kelsey Browne – this time with a Sunshine Coast home ground advantage.

“Geva and Kelsey are both excellent players and will always be a special part of the Sunshine Coast Lightning, being part of our inaugural team.

“I’m sure the sunny coast will give them a warm welcome…

“But seeing them in those opposition colours, I think we’ll get out there on court and have a good battle, then hug it out afterwards.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning face Collingwood Magpies at home on Saturday from 3pm as part of Round Eight’s Indigenous Round.

Lightning’s ANL affiliate Territory Storm will also play their last games of the season at USC Stadium this weekend against the Tasmanian Magpies, on Saturday at 5:45pm and Sunday 10am.

Don’t miss out on all the netball action this weekend, secure your tickets here.