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Swifts May Be Tidy But Taurua’s Lightning Are Raring To Go

NSW Swifts have a reputation for starting each season strongly, but Sunshine Coast Lightning Coach Noeline Taurua is hoping to end their undefeated run when the two sides face on Saturday.

Taurua knows Lightning will be challenged by the clinical Swifts’ who have the home court advantage but believes the game will be a good barometer of where the two teams stand after four rounds.

“[Swifts are] very tidy, they are synonymous with starting the competition well and they’ve done that again this year,” Taurua said.

“For us to play them over in Sydney is going to be a big game for us.

“They don’t cough up the ball much and they’re one of those teams that just do the simple things well.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge out there and to play them and see where we really are in the pecking order.”

The Sydney side have nabbed 22 of a possible 24 points and sit comfortably at second on the ladder behind the Melbourne Vixens.

But with Lightning in third spot, Saturday’s game at Quaycentre will be telling.

“They’ve got a great shooting end in regard to Helen Housby and also [Sam] Wallace,” the Lightning coach said.

“Both are dead-eyed and accurate and also have high volume shooting percentages.

“I think that provides them with the stability at that end – once the ball goes through the hoop they just keep racking it up.”

The faith Taurua has in her defenders, however, indicates they’re up for the task.

“Karla [Pretorius] is sublime at the moment, she’s so unassuming yet the ball that she turns over… she’s number one goal defence after the first three rounds,” she said.

“Her intercepts are going out through the roof and on top of it she’s very clean.

“We’re really happy with how she’s currently sitting.

“Also in regards to the unit, Laura [Langman] and Maddy [Mcauliffe] are doing a fine job outside and that’s creating a lot of turnover for both her (Pretorius) and Phumza [Maweni].”

Lightning’s defence have weathered down a number of strong attacking combinations so far in 2019 and Goal Keeper Phumza Maweni is ready for the Swifts.

“We’ll take it game by game, the pressure is on but, as a team, we really use our structure and focus on our defence unit – we don’t follow their style, we want to keep our style,” Maweni said.

“They both (Housby and Wallace) are moving shooters but I think with me and Karla, it’s easy to adapt with moving shooters.

“We know what we’re going to do, we’ve got a plan, we’ll get them.”

Lightning take on NSW Swifts on Saturday 18 May from 1pm at Quaycentre in Sydney.

Then don’t miss the Sunshine Coast Lightning’s first home game at the redeveloped USC Stadium in Round Five! Secure your tickets now to witness all the action live on Saturday 25 May when they take on the GWS Giants.