Lightning in tense fight for finals
NETBALL: An "all or nothing” mindset will drive the Sunshine Coast Lightning on home territory as they seek to put destiny in their own hands.
The Coast outfit will host Swifts at USC Stadium in round 13 of the Super Netball competition on Saturday.
Although hunting the win, assistant coach Kylee Byrne said earning top bonus points from the match was important prior to travelling south for a final round battle with Vixens.
Only one point separates Lightning and Vixens, with a successful outing against Swifts enhancing hopes of a finals berth.
"This is going to set us up for the next few weeks definitely so it's all or nothing this weekend and the game against the Swifts is absolutely huge for us,” Byrne said.
"We don't want to go to an away game in that last round and have to really battle for points so this will set us up and if we can come away with maximum points this week it certainly makes the last round a lot easier.”
Achieving those goals won't be easy, however, with Byrne expecting Swifts to come out and play party pooper to the Coast's season.
"Now that they are out as of last week's results I'm sure they're hoping to get a scalp and what's better than getting the reigning premier scalp as well and really influencing how the finals look so we're not going to underestimate them at all,” she said.
The Lightning fell to Swifts 59-56 in their previous encounter in round seven, with a disastrous first quarter of play coming back to bite them.
Although plenty had changed since it was something the Lightning hadn't easily forgotten.
"It's funny that match is actually is in everyone's mind still and to go down one quarter by 10 goals was stupid,” Byrne said. "So everyone is ready to step up this week and make sure we don't get in that position again and it's certainly is in everyone's minds.
"We're hoping to go out right from the first quarter - the last few games they've come out very strong so if we can stop them and get on top of their confidence in that first quarter that's what we're aiming to do this week.”
Despite mounting pressure, Lightning goal attack Stephanie Wood said her side were proven performers in the heat of the moment.
"I think it's definitely shown probably in the last few weeks when we have had to win games we've gone out and played some pretty good netball,” she said.
"I think some people can buckle under that pressure but I think we thrive on it.”
Wood believed containing goal shooter Sam Wallace would be vital.