Magpies Netball Club v Sunshine Coast Lightning
Broadcast: Live on 9Gem, Netball Live App
On Demand Catch Up: 9Now, Telstra TV, Netball Live App
Another top-four showdown looms for Lightning in Melbourne in Suncorp Super Netball.
Sunshine Coast is looking to avoid consecutive losses for the first time this season, following a disappointing defeat against ladder-leaders, Vixens in Round 10 at Margaret Court Arena (70-59).
All hope is not lost, however, with Lightning still well and truly in the finals’ picture sitting in third position with four Rounds remaining.
First-placed Vixens (17 points) and second-placed GIANTS (16 points) are within reach, while this Saturday’s opponents, Magpies (12 points) are three points behind us.
The last time Collingwood clashed with the Coast Club was in Round 5 where Lightning sharp-shooter, Caitlin Bassett scored the match-winning goal with three seconds remaining. Our thrilling 51-50 victory was a determined display which showcased the fighting spirit of this side.
But the Melbourne powerhouse is a vastly improved outfit. It has won three straight games and now has the competition’s leading goal-scorer in Caitlin Thwaites (429) who has surpassed Bassett (428).
At the other end of the court, Goal Keeper, Sharni Layton leads the league for intercepts (42), with Lightning counterpart, Geva Mentor second (29) and fellow Coast defender, Karla Mostert third (25). Lightning leads the League overall for intercepts, with 87.
Not to be outdone, Mentor makes her mark in the deflections category with top spot (62), while Layton is hot on her heels in second place (52).
Lightning still boasts a superior attacking record, so too, stronger defensive statistics. The time for talk is almost over though and the time for action is upon us!
Lightning Coach, Noeline Taurua’s thoughts on the impending clash:
“Every team is fighting for a top four position and there are some big games ahead of us. Tomorrow against Collingwood is one of those games for both teams. It’s exciting to once again face the Magpies but also see how we respond after last week’s defeat.”
“Losing by 11 goals to Vixens wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t a great feeling but we have to do something about it. It’s been exposed and tomorrow’s game is an opportunity for us to be better.”
“At the elite level, sport is about performing, either you do or you don’t. You have to be smart and execute on court.”
“Collingwood is doing really well and it seems to have settled on its Goal Attack position which was somewhat of a thorn in the side for a while. Cody Lange is playing very well and has been able to take the pressure off Caitlin Thwaites.”