Sunshine Coast Lightning's Caitlin Bassett in action against the Queensland Firebirds.
Sunshine Coast Lightning's Caitlin Bassett in action against the Queensland Firebirds. Patrick Woods

Mind games add spice to already intense Qld derby

NETBALL: The mind games have already started between two rivals determined to outwit each other and finish Queensland's No.1 netball side.

Spice has been thrown into the mix days out from Sunday's Super Netball semifinal between the Sunshine Coast Lightning and Queensland Firebirds.

Lightning skipper Geva Mentor claims the Firebirds don't view their Queensland 'cousins' as equals.

Firebirds captain Gabi Simpson denied the claims but they've still hit a nerve with the reigning premiers.

Coach Noeline Taurua said it certainly added "electricity”.

"Gee whiz, what a comment to make,” Taurua said.

"We will just both go out there and put it all in on the court.”

For the last month, the Lightning have been playing "dog eat dog” finals netball just to survive.

They've needed a backs to the wall approach just to make the top four. Now they've qualified, nothing really changes.

"The semifinals and finals are always pretty fierce,” she said.

"It is about the team who has the heart, passion and wants it the most.

"For the last four weeks we've needed to win or not drop bonus points to make it. We are prepared.

"Six or seven weeks ago it was looking like a different story.”

In the two match-ups seen this season, it stands one apiece.



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