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Sparks to fly as Lightning and Magpies face off

With just four rounds of Suncorp Super Netball remaining in the lead-up to finals, Sunshine Coast Lightning will be looking to secure a win against Collingwood Magpies on home soil this weekend, placing it one step closer to a top-four ladder position.

Lightning Head Coach Noeline Taurua said the team was aiming to reign victorious in at least three of its four upcoming matches.

“We’ve got a big few games ahead of us to make sure we secure a top-four position on the ladder,” Taurua said.

“We’re very fortunate that we have two games at home and that’s why this Collingwood game is huge for us. We don’t want to put pressure on ourselves for that last game against Vixens.

“We’ve got to have that attacking and fighting mentality and be connected for the whole 60 minutes.”

Taurua said Lightning players – particularly those in their second year of competing in the Suncorp Super Netball league – had grown significantly throughout the 2018 season.

“There’s been a lot of progress. They’ve gained a lot of experience. They’re still growing in their own positions and in their body and these little things do count in regards to their own development,” she said.

“I genuinely feel we’ve got the firepower and the ability to be able to push the top teams on the ladder and that’s reflected in our final scores.

“We’ve lost games by 2.25 goals on average and that shows how close we are. We’ve just got to pull it together and have no excuses.”

Lightning player Laura Scherian said Lightning was hungry for a win following a one-point loss to ladder leader West Coast Fever in Round 10.

“It’s disappointing losing those close games but it also puts a lot of fight into us wanting to win the next one,” Scherian said.

“We’re definitely working on pushing out our leads. We get two or three goals up and we let our opponents get back into the game. We’re working on pushing out that lead to three or four, getting to five or six and building from there.

“We’re also focusing on our turnover to score. If we get a turnover we obviously have to get the goal at the end; we have to make sure that we’re consistent.

“It’s such a close competition and it’s important we put our best performances out this weekend and get the win.”

Lightning will take on Collingwood Magpies at USC Stadium on Saturday, 14 July. The match will be broadcast live on the Nine Network and Netball Live app from 3pm AEST.

Sunshine Coast Lightning 2018 memberships are available at sunshinecoastlightning.com.au.

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