There’s no underestimating a Melbourne Vixens outfit in front of a home crowd, according to Sunshine Coast Lightning Coach Kylee Byrne.
The coach knows the Vixens’ ladder position does not reflect the determination the opposition team will bring to this weekend’s match, playing in Melbourne for the first time since Round 4.
“We’re looking ahead to taking on the Vixens, knowing that they have also had a really disrupted preparation, moving states after the cancellation of last game,” Byrne said.
“They will be fired up and ready to go and they will want to have a real crack at us as well and take our scalp.
“That said, I hope the Victorians will come out in droves and support this match, now they get to play in front of a home crowd.”
Shooter Cara Koenen highlighted the settling of the Vixens’ combinations heading into Round 9 of the Suncorp Super Netball season.
Last year’s Premiers entered 2021 with some new additions and needed time to adjust, but when looking at the talent across the court, they cannot be discounted.
“Vixens have been building some awesome combinations – they were a fairly new group and now, halfway through the season, those connections are really starting to form and develop,” Koenen said.
“We are being mindful of them and we won’t take anything lightly.”
Lightning was forced to relocate on short notice to Melbourne earlier this week, impacting the team’s preparations.
But Coach Byrne knows there’s a game to play on Saturday and the team now needs to realign their focus to the weekend and the job at hand.
“It’s now having to pretty quickly turn our attention away from what’s happened and how we’ve got here to now go ‘okay we do have a match to play’,” she said.
“We want to hold the position we’re in.
“We have a lot to improve on from our game on the weekend against Magpies,
“We are going to see this as a step up and a challenge for us, it’s a different week but I’m confident in this group that we can go out on court against Vixens and put out another good performance.”
Koenen said she’s been impressed by the resilience of her teammates and the ability of the group to remain positive.
“We obviously have had a tumultuous 48 hours and it has been pretty hectic but the beauty of this group is we’ve just gotten on with the job,” she said.
“Especially at training there was a really good energy amongst the group – we’re fired up and ready to go.”