Round 1 of the Suncorp Super Netball competition seems a world away and Sunshine Coast Lightning shooter Steph Wood anticipates a very different battle against Collingwood Magpies come Saturday.
Looking specifically at Collingwood’s defence, Wood is preparing for a tough, physical contest.
“It’s always a good challenge to come up against Geva [Mentor] and I think Jodi-Ann [Ward] has had some really good matches since Round 1,” Wood said.
“They are very physical and when Jacqui [Newton] comes on, she’s got lots of hands in there as well.
“I definitely think they have moved from where they were in Round 1, so it will be a good challenge for us but that is why you play elite sport, to have those challenges.”
Collingwood’s most recent outing was a 16 goal defeat over Melbourne Vixens and that performance will give them confidence heading into the second half of the season.
Wood noted their ability to win defensive ball and hit the scoreboard as a result and that will be a key focus heading into the Round 7 clash.
“They came out and they performed really well against the Vixens and won by 16,” she said.
“So, they are keeping position and they turn the ball over quite a lot – they have also gotten a lot better at conversion.”
Magpies currently sit 2 games out of the SSN top 4 and will be eager to keep any hope of finals alive in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile Lightning is on equal points to GIANTS Netball and NSW Swifts, who are 1 game clear at the top of the ladder.
After the short reprieve of the split round, the feeling around Lightning is upbeat and Wood joked that the excitement when the athletes reunited could be mistaken for a much longer time apart.
“It was like we hadn’t seen each other in 2 weeks. Everyone was so excited to get back,” she said.
“We had a good hit out yesterday at training and we are doing everything possible to be just as prepared as we can.
“We have the best fans in the world here and I feel like we have created quite a cool environment, so I love coming out and playing in front of them. Hopefully, we can put on a good performance for them.”
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