A pick up here, a deflection there and a couple of timely rebounds is all it could take to turn the Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Adelaide road trip into a successful mission. 

The team hits the road for a second time this Suncorp Super Netball season to face the undefeated Adelaide Thunderbirds at Netball SA Stadium on Sunday. 

Coach Kylee Byrne is confident of a victory and has identified defence as the major focus heading into Round 3. 

Lightning are fourth in the competition for goals scored and could propel themselves higher up the ladder if they can win as few as three additional gains per quarter. 

“If we can manage three more gains per quarter, not only does it stop them, it gives us an opportunity at the other end and a chance to build pressure,” Byrne said. 

“I know they can do it. They just need to trust each other.” 

Building strong combinations takes time and Lightning are devoted to sharpening the partnership between Kate Walsh, Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Tara Hinchliffe. 

Maddie Hinchliffe is another who will be expected to contribute to the defence line. 

Dehaney has potential as a ball winner as she adjusts to her growing partnership with Tara Hinchliffe. 

With a renewed focus on transition, and steady heads, the tall defender insists the team is confident ahead of a congested stretch of three games in seven days. 

“We’re definitely focusing on us,” Dehaney said. “We’re channelling ourselves into the next seven days and the key will be recovering to re-group and go again. 

Steph Wood’s return to the line-up provides both experience and creative energy that maximises the strengths of those around her. 

“She gives us the confidence to step out together and to put our best foot forward,” Dehaney said of the Lightning captain. 

“In attack and defence she lifts us to do our best on court. To have her on court this week is good for us.” 


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