Sunshine Coast Lightning came out strong and defeated Giants Netball to cement their position at the top of the ladder. The six-goal victory came after a close tussle, where the scores were level at half time and three-quarter time.
The introduction of Peace Proscovia was the critical move, as the shooter had 16 goals in the last quarter.
Lightning coach Kylee Byrne spoke after the game about the decisive substitution.
“It could have gone either way. I had my heart in my mouth when I did it, but I thought I just had to back them in,” Byrne explained.
“We’ve been looking for that kind of performance from Peace, and we know she matches up well against the Giants defenders. And Steph just used her smarts out the front, and Kara complimented the two of them.”
The game was riddled with turnovers, and the defensive end appeared to dominate each attack.
Byrne explained what she thought was the underlying cause.
“I think both [teams] just desperately wanted to be on top at the end of the round. We always know it’s going to be a tough game between us,” Byrne said.
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Byrne was surprised, as the usually smooth and efficient Giants had trouble moving the ball.
“They’re so clinical with the ball quite often with their passes, so it surprised me how many passes were thrown to hand or just away from players. Bryne said.
Despite that, Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni had dominant days in defence for the Lightning and prevented the Giants from ever getting on a roll. In the end, shooting just 70% doomed the Giants, and it was down to the lightning defence.
The Lightning will finish the round on top and will head back to Queensland with no injury worries.