Lightning ready for a tough fight
NETBALL: Sunshine Coast Lightning assistant coach Kylee Byrne is adamant the uncertainty surrounding West Coast Fever's line-up hasn't hampered their preparations for the highly anticipated grand final rematch.
The Sippy Downs outfit will travel to Perth for the match on Sunday and, like Fever, will be on the hunt to bounce back from a season-opening loss.
Lightning fell to Collingwood while Fever were toppled by two-year competition cellar dwellers Adelaide who ended their 27-game losing streak.
With that loss in mind, Byrne expected Fever to come out firing on their home court.
"Particularly for their first home game they'll want to come out and put it all out there," Byrne said.
"To be that first team that Thunderbirds actually beat, no one wanted to be it, but it's a different season and that Thunderbirds outfit is a good team.
"(But) Perth will be really hurting from that one."
While Lightning had been working hard to fine-tune certain areas from their own defeat, she said the club had also made sure to cover all possible scenarios for their clash in Perth with two of Fever's linchpins in captain Courtney Bruce and Jhaniele Fowler racing the clock to play during the week.
Bruce was confirmed as missing the match late on Friday afternoon while Fowler passed her fitness test to be included.
Despite the doubt over the pair during the week, Byrne said they had prepared adequately to cover any situation.
"You've got to be quite wary that anyone else who gets that opportunity to take those places can come out firing so we've planned for them to be there but we won't leave any other stone unturned and (will) have a look at everyone in their 10," she said.
Goal defence Karla Pretorius echoed Byrne's thoughts on being ready for anything.
"Our role is slowing down the ball going into the circle so regardless if she (Fowler) plays or not I think that will stay the same," Pretorius said prior to Fowler's inclusion.
"She plays a big role in that team...But on the flip side we'll focus on what we need to do and how we can do stuff better," she said.
While Cara Koenen got the starting nod over Peace Proscovia in the opening game, Byrne said she was still unsure as to who would get the goal-shooter bib first this week.
"They both offer something completely different so we're also going to have a look at the opposition and see who matches up there as well," she said.
Centre pass is 1pm (AEST) on Sunday.