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Steph nearly out of the woods

Via Suncorp Super Netball

SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING HAVE EXTRA FIREPOWER FOR THEIR ROUND FIVE CLASH AGAINST MAGPIES NETBALL CLUB, WITH STEPHANIE WOOD’S RECOVERY ON TRACK FROM A KNEE IRRITATION.

Wood, who was sidelined during pre-season and in the opening rounds due to an arthroscopic procedure, made her Suncorp Super Netball debut for Lightning in Round Four, playing a half.

“There were definitely nerves, it has been a long time coming,” said Wood.

“To finally get out there and just play a game of netball, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

“I was only medically cleared to play a half, medical staff didn’t want to load me too much. I’ve pulled up okay so fingers crossed this week I can run out a full game.”

Wood scored seven goals from eight attempts at 88 percent accuracy in two quarters of netball, combining with shooting partner Caitlin Bassett.

Despite a reduced pre-season and court time together, Wood felt comfortable stepping out beside Bassett.

“It felt quite natural with her out on court. There are things that we can work on and build upon throughout the season, but that’s what is exciting,” Wood explained.

“We’re only coming up to round five and we still have many more rounds to build that combination.”
Lightning will face the Magpies at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, in the second game of a Queensland v Victoria double header, with the Firebirds hosting the Vixens.

“I am expecting a really tough, physical game. A game that I think will go down to the wire.”

The Lightning shooting pair are very familiar with Magpies defensive duo April Brandley and Sharni Layton; having played together in the Diamonds environment.

“We have the knowledge of how they play, but on the flipside, they know how we play,” said Wood.

“It’s a little bit of cat and mouse and working out how to get around that.”

The goal attack will be preparing for the game by identifying the Magpies’ strengths, but also focusing on what her team needs to do well to overcome them.

“I will focus on being that link between our midcourters down into our goal circle, but also getting in the circle and not relying on Bassett out the back. I’ll be putting shots up and keeping those defenders guessing about who is going to be shooting,” Wood explained.

Sunshine Coast Lightning will host Magpies Netball Club on Saturday March 18, 8:00pm local time. The game will also be shown live on 9Gem and the Netball Live App. Tickets available via Ticketek.

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