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Vixens Provide Wake Up Call For Lightning

A determined Vixens outfit were too strong for Lightning on Saturday but Coach Noeline Taurua is making no excuses for the team’s performance.

Work has already begun on court this week to stamp out any areas of concern from Saturday’s game and the coach is confident in a quick turnaround from the team.

“Giving respect to the opposition, Vixens definitely know what they are about in being very clinical, their strategy is very clear and they are tough,” Taurua said.

“But also I thought we had opportunities to put ourselves ahead or pull ourselves back and I thought we were a bit frivolous in regards to error count.

“The type of errors in regards to drop ball, passing to Casper, those sort of things, was unacceptable at this level and I feel there’s areas we can improve on in that.”

One shining light from Taurua’s perspective was the ability to use the bench to push the opposition, with three versatile and game-ready options available in Jacqui Russell, Annika Lee-Jones and Cara Koenen.

“I think in the last quarter when our bench players did get on it gave them the opportunity, so that may fire things up going into the next game against Thunderbirds,” she said.

Lightning travel north for this weekend’s game against Adelaide, with the match being held in Darwin.

And while the South Australian side held the underdog tag for the first two years in the Suncorp Super Netball – notching just one win – they cannot be underestimated in season 2019.

“Thunderbirds is a big game for us – I think for both teams heading into Darwin,” she said.

Goal Shooter Cara Koenen reiterated the coach’s comments when it came to Thunderbirds.

The 23-year-old is anticipating a physical match against another team with a tall defensive end and knows Lightning will need to be smarter in their ball movement if they want to impact the scoreboard.

“Where they’re sitting on the table means they’re going to leave nothing to chance, they are going to throw everything at us,” Koenen said.

“They want that win on the board, they will definitely come at us nice and hard so we’ll be looking forward to another tough, physical game again this weekend.

“We’ll be looking at some really tall defenders again like the Vixens had last weekend, so some big hands over and we’ll just have to be really smart with the ball in the attack end being able to work it in nice and close to the post for our shooters.”