CENTRE: Laura Langman is a key player within the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
CENTRE: Laura Langman is a key player within the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Warren Lynam

Lightning centre wary of Firebirds ahead of season opener

NETBALL: The Queensland Firebirds will be without gun centre Mahalia Cassidy for its clash with the Sunshine Coast on Saturday night but Lightning mid-courter Laura Langman remains ultra-wary of the trans-Tasman club champion.

The teams will tussle in round one of the Super Netball season at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre after the host suffered a blow during the week.

Dynamo Cassidy was ruled out for the season with a knee injury and is set to be replaced by rookie Kristen Oxenford

The Firebirds, which won the last two editions of the now-defunct trans-Tasman club championship, are also without star goalkeeper Laura Geitz.

But Langman says she and her teammates will not under-estimate their rivals.

"They've (still) got huge experience and big game players,” she said.

"They've been in finals for the last four years and premiers the last two years....and I know their management knows how to handle tough situations like this.”

The Lightning is likely to delve into its playing stocks too, with Australian squad member Stephanie Wood likely to miss the match through a knee injury.

Rookie Cara Koenen has spent considerable time trialling and training at goal attack in recent weeks.



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