Lightning ready to stand tall against rough play
A rough and physical encounter may have caught them off guard last outing, but coach Kylee Byrne says the Lightning are prepared to stand tall for anything that comes their way in the second half of the season.
The Lightning will take on West Coast Fever on Sunday at Nissan Arena in Round 8 of Super Netball after losing to NSW Swifts in a rough battle on Wednesday night.
Byrne was "sad" to see brute force come to the fore over ability in the latter match, but said they would simply need to be ready to counteract the issue in the future.
"It actually caught us a bit out of sorts and by surprise but we've had a really good chat about that and we can't let it happen," she said.
"If teams decide they want to get a bit more physical with us we've got to be prepared for that fight every single ball.
"If other teams watch and think that's the way to play against us and beat us, we've just got to be prepared for it."
While admitting Lightning had "dropped the ball" in their loss to Swifts, wing defender Jacqui Russell said their offensive weapons had endured the brunt of some physical encounters this season.
"It's certainly been obvious to us that they've been targeting particular players through the attack end," she said.
"It's credit to our players that other teams feel like they need to play that way to get on top of them.
"It's a little bit frustrating to watch because I feel like our defence end does try to be clean and come up with clean intercepts and turnovers, but we are still being penalised at an even rate to those teams that are being really physical and getting a bit scrappy."
While unsure whether their encounter with West Coast Fever would go down in a similar manner, Russell said they'd be ready.
"I think we're pretty much expecting everyone to do that (get physical) against us at the moment," she said.
While they are two wins clear of fourth-placed Fever, Lightning are eager to maintain the gap and further cement their place inside the top three.
"While it's certainly one game at a time and let's not look to far forward, it's just sitting their in the background now this ladder," Byrne said.
"They've come off a really good win and I thought they were very impressive.
"It was probably their best netball for the year so they'll be wanting to bring that into the match.
"But, if we can knock this game off it will certainly help hopefully in a few more weeks to come with finals positions."
Super Netball confirmed the fixtures for Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the season on Friday.
Lightning will play all three rounds at USC Stadium, against Giants (September 6), West Coast Fever (September 8) and Firebirds (September 13).