A showdown in the Suncorp Super Netball league is imminent, with the top four teams playing off this weekend in a round that could have a huge bearing on ladder standings headed into finals.
Lightning Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne was pleased her side came away with the win against ladder leaders NSW Swifts last week but was eager to watch the next round play out.
Lightning face off against the fourth placed GIANTS Netball, while NSW Swifts will come up against a determined Melbourne Vixens who will undoubtedly be eyeing a top two finish.
“It’s an interesting round for Suncorp Super Netball, the top four teams play each other and it could determine top four positions for finals – it could have a real impact,” Byrne said.
“[The Giants] really wanting to consolidate fourth place, they’re going to come out firing, they are only four points off dropping out of the four, so this is a big game for them.
“We’ve only got three rounds left, so this is one we want to put away.”
Round 13 will further consolidate team positioning on the SSN ladder when Lightning face a third placed Melbourne Vixens – with just one point the difference as it currently stands.
While the run home poses a challenge, Byrne was happy with how it was shaping up as Lightning head towards a possible third consecutive finals tilt.
“Hitting the better teams coming into finals gives you the ideal preparation and really makes you step up every week and raise the bar and have a really good look at what we’re doing and our structures down the court,” she said.
“I think it’s the perfect set up – two away games, a home game then you look to finals.”
Lightning defeated the NSW Swifts in front of a vocal home crowd last week by two points after an adrenaline inducing final quarter.
And despite being the only team to get the better of Swifts in 2019 so far, Byrne believes there’s still plenty of improvement to come from the Lightning contingent.
“They’re a classy team and they’ve been the benchmark for most of the season,” she said.
“To get the scalp of the first place of the ladder was certainly well deserved and we worked hard for it, however there was a real sense that we’ve only just started again after the world cup and there’s so much more improvement which is really exciting for this team.”
Lightning clash with GIANTS Netball on Saturday 10 August at 3pm at Quaycentre in Sydney.
🧐1 v 3 and 2 v 4 in Round 12 of the SSN... Excited much!?— Sunshine Coast Lightning (@sc_lightning) August 6, 2019
And Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne thinks there's still PLENTY of improvement left this season from the team 😍https://t.co/qonTG7egyv#TogetherWeStrike