Lightning brush off cobwebs in derby win over Firebirds
NETBALL: Sunshine Coast Lightning coach Noeline Taurua says they brushed off the cobwebs with a win over Firebirds and is now eager to settle back into routine on the run towards finals.
Lightning resumed their Super Netball season at the Queensland State Netball Centre on Saturday following a competition-wide four-week break for the Netball World Cup.
They picked up where they left off with a 66-64 triumph over Firebirds to earn bragging rights in the Queensland derby.
With five internationals, Taurua admitted she'd been unsure as to how the Lightning would fare on their return to the court but was more than pleased with the performances put out during the Round 10 battle.
"It's good to come out with the points so I'm happy with that and to just get ourselves back on the ground so to speak,” she said.
"We've got the cobwebs out and (I'm) looking forward to getting ourselves back into routine to take on Swifts for next week.”
New Zealand captain Laura Langman, Australian shooter Steph Wood and South African defenders Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni all played full games.
Ugandan Peace Proscovia had limited minutes.
"I think considering the load that had happened for some individuals at the world cup and knowing they were able to front today was very pleasing,” Taurua said.
"There (was) probably, until we got ourselves on court, an element of uncertainty (as to how they'd go).
"But, (I'm) pleased to get that one out of the way and know exactly where we are at and what needs to happen for next week.”
Lightning started the match against Firebirds strong, finishing the opening quarter with a five goal lead before entering the break seven goals up.
However, the Firebirds weren't giving up without a fight, mounting a late charge in the final four minutes by scoring nine of the last 12 goals in the game to finish just two goals shy, 66-64.
Lightning goal shooter Cara Koenen was named player of the match, landing 37 of her 40 attempts at the hoop (92.5 percent accuracy).
The 23-year-old said she was shocked to receive her first Super Netball MVP accolade.
"I don't think it's sunk in but just having the team back on the Coast this week and being back out on court in Suncorp Super Netball is such a good feeling,” she said.
Goal attack Steph Wood shot at 89.5 percent accuracy on the night, nailing 26 of her 29 shots.