Lightning aim to be ruthless on court
NETBALL: A "ruthless and cut-throat” mindset will be crucial as the Sunshine Coast Lightning hunt maximum points against Adelaide Thunderbirds on Sunday, midcourter Jacqui Russell says.
The two sides will face off in round 12 of the Super Netball competition tomorrow at Priceline Stadium in Adelaide.
The Lightning currently sit just two points outside the top four while the Thunderbirds are placed last on the eight-team ladder.
With just three games remaining, Russell said it was important for finals hopes that the Coast not only secure the win, but do so in a dominant fashion.
"We've had so many close games so we really want to put an emphasis on really getting a lead and pushing it out and really winning every quarter and increasing the lead as we go,” she said.
"I think that idea of being ruthless and really cut-throat in punishing them when they make turnovers and errors is going to be really critical for us this weekend.”
Assistant coach Kylee Byrne said the Lightning weren't nervous about the importance of the clash, but admitted there was certainly "added pressure” to perform.
To secure a spot among the frontrunners, and a consecutive appearance in the finals, earning the maximum eight points tomorrow was vital.
"That's hanging over our heads definitely and that's the only outcome that we're really expecting and the one we really need as well and that'll do some good things for us coming into finals and move us into that top four which is where we need to be right now,” she said.
Although the Thunderbirds enter the clash winless, Byrne said the Lightning remained wary of the outfit on their home court.
"The away game feels like it has come at the right time and we just want to go away and really get stuck into this week, it's a big game,” she said.
"We can't take the bottom of the ladder lightly at all and as all clichés go they've got absolutely nothing to lose and we're very well aware of that.
"As a team, they are quite hard to plan against. They've just had their star goal shooter, Cat Tuivaiti, return following a knee injury and it seems it's given them confidence.
"Cat had three quarters last week so we're expecting her to either start or play a pretty big role this week.”