Sport

Lightning chases double chance in Super Netball finals

GOAL ATTACK: Stephanie Wood has been a key player for the Sunshine Coast Lightning this season.
GOAL ATTACK: Stephanie Wood has been a key player for the Sunshine Coast Lightning this season. Bradley Kanaris

NETBALL: They're already guaranteed a berth in Super Netball finals but it's a top-two standing - which comes with a prized double chance - that the Sunshine Coast really wants.

The third-placed Lightning will collide with New South Wales at Sippy Downs on Saturday night (7pm) before meeting the ladder-leading Giants in Sydney in the last round next weekend.

And the Noeline Taurua-coached unit is intent on finishing the regular season with a flourish.

The reward of a top-two spot would allow them to avoid an elimination clash involving teams three and four.

"You get another life," she said.

And in a pressure-packed play-offs, where the intensity goes up a notch, that could be crucial.

"It's dog eat dog, that's what finals are about," Taurua said.

"You either perform or you don't and that's how it goes (so) to finish first or second (and get a lifeline) that's a big positive."

So she's urging her team to make the most of most of their opportunities against New South Wales and Greater Western Sydney.

But she also wants the team hitting their straps when finals start.

"To control our own destiny, it's about us taking these two games but it's also about the quality of the performance and the consistency in what we do.

"The good thing is we know we're in a top-three position (at least) and that's exciting so now we just need to do our job on the court."

The top three sides, which also includes the Vixens, were separated by just one point leading into round 13.

The Giants were due to meet the Firebirds on Friday night.

The Sunshine Coast heads into their clash with the sixth-placed Swifts wary of an opponent which caused some problems last time they met.

On that occasion in Sydney last month, the visitors trailed by four goals at three-quarter time before rallying for a 55-50 win.

"They're a very unorthodox team," Taurua said.

"With (Sam) Wallace as shooter, she's got different lines and angles and both of their shooters are long-range shooters so that proved difficult."

The Lightning should pose plenty of problems for the Swifts though, with captain Geva Mentor leading the competition for defensive rebounds and deflections.

The hosts are also the most accurate shooting team in the league, with Caitlin Bassett the most accurate shooter (94%).

Topics:  sunshine coast lightning super netball


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