NETBALL: It's 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 the Swifts at Sippy Downs on Saturday night before meeting the ladder-leading Giants in Sydney in the last round next weekend.
Noeline Taurua's team is intent on finishing the regular season with a flourish and avoiding an elimination finals clash involving teams three and four.
"You get another life," she said.
"It's dog eat dog, that's what finals are about.
"You either perform or you don't and that's how it goes. To finish first or second (and get a lifeline), that's a big positive."
Taurua is urging her team to make the most of most of its opportunities against New South Wales and Greater Western Sydney, but she also wants the team hitting its 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," she said.
"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 are due to meet the Firebirds on Friday night.
The Sunshine Coast heads into its clash with the sixth-placed Swifts wary of an opponent that 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 (94%).
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