Steph Wood is eager to notch a win against Queensland Firebirds in 2021 and reclaim Sunshine Coast Lightning’s edge against their state rivals when the 2 teams go head to head tonight.
Despite the disrupted preparations and a change in opposition, Wood is confident Lightning can get the job done.
The shooter believes the solid win against West Coast Fever in Round 10 can be drawn upon against Firebirds who have a similar structure and style of play.
“We would love to take the win against Firebirds on their home court, like they did for us,” Wood said.
“West Coast Fever was the best preparation for us because they do play quite a similar game plan.
“We knew we still had to play the Firebirds in the next few weeks anyway.”
Last time the two sides met, Firebirds by 9 goals after a dominant first half and Lightning will be looking to improve on that performance and start strongly.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne said the continuous changes this season has meant Lightning continue to focus on their own strategy and strengths leading into games, especially in games where they are not afforded the same time to dissect the opposition’s game plan.
“You want to be thoroughly prepared for a match but when you don’t know your opposition is it does make it hard,” Byrne said.
“What it means is we’ve focused on ourselves and we want to continue to put out better performances each week.
“We have to be better than we were against Fever last week, it doesn’t matter who we play.”
Byrne is calling on the players to drive continual improvement as individuals and a team as a fifth consecutive finals’ campaign looms.
“We know who we are and we have to take that into the last 4 rounds and finals, hopefully,” she said.
“We’ve consolidated what our attack and our defence principles and what our toolbox look like, so what we’re trying to do is make them better.
“It’s still about converting goals when we get it and when we gain a ball and also getting those gains in defence – applying as much pressure to the opposition so we get turnovers.
“It’s just that continual improvement that I’m asking for.”
Sunshine Coast Lightning will take on Queensland Firebirds at Nissan Arena on Monday 19 July 2021 from 7pm.