HELD UP: Kim Green and Serena Guthrie (Giants) surround Sunshine Coast Lightning's Laura Langman.
HELD UP: Kim Green and Serena Guthrie (Giants) surround Sunshine Coast Lightning's Laura Langman. Warren Lynam

Langman says she must 'work' on her game

NETBALL: Improved ball possession will be the focus for Sunshine Coast Lightning's head coach Noeline Taurua and her new side before it faces Melbourne Vixens at Caloundra next Saturday and Sunday.

Although pleased her side was able to come from behind to record its win against Swifts on Saturday night, Taurua said there was only "glimpses” of what's to come.

Lightning then went down to Giants Netball by nine points on Sunday morning (42-51), as Taurua tried a handful of options in key positions.

"I probably question us getting behind in the first place ... I'm realistic about where we are at this stage. There's some really good things but some really shonky things,” she said.

Following Sunday morning's tough loss, centre Laura Langman re-affirmed her coaches thoughts. She was also critical of her own performance, despite being only one of four players (Ashlee Unie, Erena Mikaere and Madeline McAuliffe) to remain on-court for the duration of both matches.

"I thought at times our combinations really stood out (but) I think for me personally, I need to go back and work on my game,” she said.

"In both games by ball distribution was poor for my liking. But it was definitely a great stake in the ground and a good measure of where we need to go in the next few weeks.”

Caitlin Bassett played on Saturday night but remained sidelined for Sunday's game. It allowed Cara Koenen to shine at goal shooter, while a handful of players spent time at goal attack, including a shock first-quarter appearance from Steph Wood on Sunday morning.

She last week pulled out of this month's Quad Series between Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa, citing a niggling knee injury.

"Steph looked fresh and sharp, it was great to see her out there,” Langman said. "Every other option is really vital. Dom (Scott) slices the circle well and MJ (Maria Lutua) has a physical presence.”

In the weekend's other matches, the Queensland Firebirds and fellow newcomers Giants Netball played out a thrilling 54-all draw to start proceedings.

Sunday's Lightning match was followed by a grand final replay (of sorts) between the Firebirds and NSW Swifts.

Swifts led at every break but were eventually run down to lose 52-49.



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