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Wilson Weighs In On Second Trial

Sunshine Coast Lightning has continued to lay the foundations for Season 2021, with a second stint of competitive match play at USC Stadium this week.

A round robin format involving QLD Suns Mens and USC Thunder allowed Lightning to take a closer look at their growing combinations while trying to combat two differing styles of play.

The newest addition to Lightning’s coaching panel, Vicki Wilson OAM, said the team will be better for the run, with a range of insights and learnings to come out of the match.

“Little pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together,” Wilson said.

“Any time you have an opportunity to play a game, it’s that match like intensity that you’re always after.”

The round robin competition created a unique playing environment whereby Lightning was forced to adapt to rotating opponents coming off fresh legs, as well as the added physical task of a men’s team.

“The men provided a great body, defensively they have the ability to get up in the air but they’re also strong onto the catch,” she said.

“It meant in attack we always had to adapt our line of where we ran.

“We had to have a bit of nous on our pass and variation in the delivery and choice of ball.

“They made us think and made us adjust and I think our ability to adapt was very good.”

Lightning competed in five of the six match periods but Wilson said the opportunity to replicate a ‘half time’ scenario where the team could dissect the game and reset was beneficial.

“It was good to be able to practice that half time break and talk about what the men were throwing out,” she said.

“The men were very clever, they ran different defensive structures – being able to throw out a zone against us, then man-to-man.

“Our ability to recognise and react wasn’t quite where we would like it to be yet, so it was good to be able to speak with the players and talk about ‘well, what do you do now?’”

Thursday’s match also provided Lightning Training Partners invaluable court time, rotating between playing within Lightning’s structures, as well as for affiliate side USC Thunder.

Lightning is currently without circle defenders Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni who are expected to return from South Africa this month.

Meanwhile Cara Koenen is currently in New Zealand on Origin Diamond duties, while fellow shooter Steph Wood is rehabilitating her knee.