There’s a quiet confidence in the Sunshine Coast Lightning team room this week as preparations ramp up for a heated match against West Coast Fever.
While the Perth side has had Lightning’s measure in recent seasons, there’s a strong belief within the group that the record is due to end.
Vicki Wilson said while Fever is the form team in the competition, the Sunshine Coast side is more than capable of outplaying them come Saturday night.
“We’re looking at where we need to expose them – where are the chinks in their armour,” Wilson said.
“But we’re also looking at our strengths and our ability to respond to any situation, to really be able to play instinctively.
“Fever losing to NSW Swifts on the weekend demonstrates again how vulnerable they can be.”
Last time the two teams met, Lightning began with a 21-12 opening term and that knowledge paired with a solid week training gives the team confidence.
Wilson was overwhelmingly positive when reflecting on that first term, however the task is to now reproduce and replicate that style of play across 60 minutes.
“Our opening first quarter was perhaps some of the best netball I’ve seen not by only us but by any team in the competition,” she said.
“I thought we were electric, we were precisive in everything we did – during that opening quarter we were in scintillation form.
“It demonstrated to us that if we find that form, or repeat it multiple times, we can be unstoppable.
“We have gone back to have a really good look at that first quarter but also where we fell away – that gives us a great deal of confidence going into this game.”
Both sides are coming off disappointing losses last round, which will only add motivation.
Lightning fell to Melbourne Vixens in the dying minutes of Round 9 after leading for ¾ of the match and Wilson made clear a repeat performance would not be accepted.
“We have such a high expectation of us, we know that last quarter or final 30 seconds wasn’t what we expected of our Club,” she said.
“We know Lightning is so much better and we demand excellence.
“In training it’s been about pushing ourselves to achieve the targets we set out and if we don’t achieve them we go and go again.
“We know the way we want to play and everyone is held accountable and it has made us so much more determined.”
With finals just 5 matches away, Wilson expects the side to leave no stone unturned as they continue to build form and win the respect of their next 5 opponents, including the current fellow top 4 sides in GIANTS Netball, Swifts and Fever.
“We know it is a really healthy competition – anyone can make the final 4 but for us it’s not just about making the final 4,” she said.
“We want to make sure we’re dogged in everything we do, we play our best and represent the Club to the very best of our ability.”