Wounded Vixens Looking To Atone But Lightning Love A Challenge

The Melbourne Vixens will be looking to atone for their round five loss and Sunshine Coast Lightning Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne expects nothing less than a demanding four quarters of netball come Saturday.

Vixens were sitting top of the table after three rounds but a draw against West Coast Fever and subsequent loss to NSW Swifts last weekend saw them drop to third – behind Lightning.

But Byrne knows her side is up to the challenge – in fact she believes Lightning performs best when under pressure.

“They’re going to be wounded and hurting and they’ll be coming for us, but that’s great because our team rises to challenges like that,” Byrne said.

“The Vixens, as a Club and as a team, have set the benchmark in Australia – so our players are very, very across that and know they have to produce their best game or we won’t even come close.”

Historically Lightning performs well against the Vixens, winning four of the five times the two teams have met – but past performance can only be an indicator.

“We know our structures work well against the Vixens, they’re going to look at that and know what happened on the weekend won’t work again for them,” she said.

Lightning’s last two games have been hard contests, with sides hoping that an elevated level of physicality will force them to deviate from their structures – but teams have struggled to keep at that level of intensity for a full match.

“There’s a real mindset to stick to what we’re doing and doing it well,” she said.

“Teams are coming out really hard and trying to play a physical game against us, thinking that will push us off the line of the ball, push us off our attack.

“But what we’re doing is just sticking to what we do well and that’s our lines and our angles to the ball, we spoke about it at half time to keep doing what we’re doing and it opened up for us.”

Vice Captain Karla Pretorius said her side are again just focusing on their own preparations and strengths and won’t let a new opposition dictate the terms of the game.

“They will want to set the record straight, coming off a draw the weekend before this one and a loss against the Swifts,” Pretorius said.

“They will come out firing and they will definitely want a win. We definitely have our work cut out for us but we’ll go in and give it our all.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning will face off against Melbourne Vixens on Saturday 1 June, from 3pm. Then stick around to support our ANL affiliate Territory Storm when they take to the court from 5:45pm.