'Our trophy cabinet speaks for itself': Taurua to doubters
SUNSHINE Coast Lightning are out to prove doubters and bookmakers wrong ahead of their third Super Netball campaign.
Betting agencies have the back-to-back premiers as rank outsiders before a centre pass has been thrown.
Noeline Taurua's outfit are the fifth favourites by bookmaking juggernauts Ladbrokes, NEDS and Sportsbet.
Ahead of them are Round 1 rivals Collingwood Magpies, beaten grand finalists West Coast Fever, Giants Netball and Melbourne Vixens.
Taurua said her trophy-laden cabinet spoke for itself.
"I don't believe we need to (prove doubters wrong),” Taurua said. We've got the trophy on both years in the cabinet and we're one of best start-ups so far in the Australasian area so I don't think we have anything to prove.
"Only to ourselves and it's a new year and we've got really good players where they work hard and no fuss.
"We just want to get out there and play our brand of netball and showcase what we can do with our talents.
"Once we get out on court like everybody else we'll understand the goods and the bads about ourselves and also get glimpse of opposition so can't wait to get out there.”
Lightning have an ally in Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander who said underestimate them at your peril.
She said the Lightning and Queensland Firebirds had experienced head coaches with good credentials.
"Noeline Taurua knows how to win,” Alexander said.
"They've done it all before and that sort of experience is priceless in what will be a very tight and competitive season.”
Eyebrows were raised in the off-season when the Lightning lost the star power of Geva Mentor, Caitlin Bassett and Kelsey Browne.
Alexander said the Coast had reloaded nicely.
"They've got Laura Langman back so she is a huge factor for them. They have also got some nice balance in their side with Peace (Proscovia) and Phumza (Maweni) at either end as the shooter and goal keeper,” she said.
"So they have the bones of a very good team there and you know they will be prepared extremely well by Noeline and Kylee Byrne.”