Karla Pretorius of the Lightning trains at Cloundra Indoor Stadium.
Karla Pretorius of the Lightning trains at Cloundra Indoor Stadium. John McCutcheon

Lightning determined to retain top two position

NETBALL: The Sunshine Coast are intent on fulfilling their pre-season intentions on Saturday, when they host West Coast.

A solid showing against the Fever will ensure they go into the four-week mid-season break within the top two on the Super Netball ladder.

It was a lofty aim they set before the campaign started despite the off-season departures of stars Caitlin Bassett, Geva Mentor and Kelsey Browne.

But they've surprised some pundits after a hefty season- opening loss, with recruits Peace Proscovia and Phumza Maweni playing key roles in their charge up the national league ladder.

"We've had a target to be number one or two, so that post World Cup we're not freaking out (during the second half of the season),” coach Noeline Taurua said.

"We are on target but we want to ... finish off properly (against Fever) and put out the best performance we can.”

"We want as many points as we can (from the game). We can't rest on our laurels.”

The Lightning are coming off the back of a 23-goal mauling of the Magpies at USC Stadium while the Fever, sixth of eight teams, defeated the Thunderbirds by a goal in Perth last start.

Taurua is bound for the World Cup as coach of New Zealand.

She has been putting the Silver Ferns through their paces on the Sunshine Coast this week, alternating sessions with the Lightning.

"I'm happy with what we've been able to put together in the short time frame,” she said.

Many of the Lightning squad are also bound for the World Cup in England.

Among them is Karla Pretorius, who has been one of the best players in the league.

She's looking forward to representing South Africa but is intent on helping Lightning stay in the top two by mid-season break.

"That's where our focus is. We want to make sure we end (this half of the season) on a good performance.

"We know where we want to be on the ladder and we still have a big job this weekend.”

Pretorius believes South Africa is well prepared for the World Cup in England.



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