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Lightning embracing netball pressure

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/05/2017

Sunshine Coast Lightning are seeking a mental edge to complement their form on the court when the Australian Super Netball finals begin next Saturday.

Lightning coach Noeline Taurua revealed that the star-studded side has been working with a sports psychologist for much of the past month in preparation for the challenges ahead.

The Lightning secured second place on the Super Netball ladder after staving off the Giants 56-55 in a thriller in Sydney on Saturday.

They will play minor premier Melbourne Vixens in Melbourne, with the winner heading straight to the grand final.

The loser will play the winner of the minor semi final between the Giants and Collingwood Magpies, which will be played in Sydney, after the Giants finished third.

Taurua said it was "a good start" to be guaranteed a second chance, but her side would not hold back in seeking to overturn an 11-goal thrashing at the hands of the Vixens when the sides last met in Round 10.

"I've been in this position before, gone out and lost that first game and then lost the second game and finished in fourth place," the former Silver Ferns representative said.

"I see it as a good start, being guaranteed a double chance. But I don't want to rest on our laurels. I want to go back and hit the Vixens really strong. They walloped us last time we played there and we left our tails dragging behind us."

The Lightning feature some of netball's biggest names, including New Zealand legend Laura Langman, Australian Diamonds goal shooter Caitlin Bassett and England great Geva Mentor.

But such is the standard and desire to claim the inaugural Super Netball competition, Taurua said there was benefit in attending to the mental aspect of the game.

"We've been working over the last three weeks or so with our sports psychologist about what it means to be in finals and semis and things like that. We've been doing a lot of work."

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