MATCH PREVIEW: ROUND 4 V SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING

After securing their first win of the 2018 season, the Magpies will host the defending champions, the Sunshine Coast Lightning, at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday afternoon in round four action.

The Lightning are yet to register a victory, but don’t be fooled, as they've been in every contest right until the end, with their biggest losing margin at only three goals.

And as has been the trend in the first three rounds, this game will be fast-paced, and the team who capitalises on their opportunities early, will walk away with the four (and bonus) points.

RECENT FORM

In round three, the Magpies recorded their first winning score, defeating the Adelaide Thunderbirds by 20 goals at Hisense Arena.

Caitlin Thwaites was prolific in goals, shooting 55/57 at 96 per cent accuracy.

In the mid-court, Madi Robinson (32 goal assists) and Shae Brown (22 goal assists) worked tirelessly, while defender Sharni Layton put together her best game since the semi-final last year.

Meanwhile, the Lightning found themselves on the wrong side of a one-goal difference at the end of their match against the league-leading West Coast Fever.

Caitlin Bassett was strong in attack (33/39), while the defensive duo of Karla Pretorious and Geva Mentor combined for six interceptions.

LAST TIME WE MET

Round 10, 2017 - Collingwood Magpies (49) defeated by Sunshine Coast Lightning (56) at Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

KEEP AN EYE ON… 

  • The match ups at both ends of the court will make for fascinating viewing for the crowd at Margaret Court Arena and the Channel 9 audience at home. At one end, you have Geva Mentor taking on Caitlin Thwaites. And down the other, it’s Sharni Layton going head-to-head with Caitlin Bassett. These four players are a part of netball’s most elite and will take to the court at the same time on Sunday. Which shooter will prevail? Which defender will have the last laugh? 
  • Sister act: Within the many mini storylines weaved throughout this contest, one to keep an eye on will be the sisters from Geelong – Madi Robinson and Kelsey Browne – who are netball family royalty in Australia. The two played together during their time at the Vixens, but since then, Madi has gone on to captain the Magpies, and Kelsey moved to the Sunshine Coast where she was a member of the inaugural premiership winning team. Both players don the WA bib, so they won't necessarily go head-to-head, but the mid-court battle will be fierce and fast.
  • Don’t be fooled by the Lightning's 0-3 start, because they are the league’s defending champions and will be looking to kick-start their campaign with a big performance over the Pies.

WORDS FROM THE PIES

“On paper, the Lightning haven’t won a game; but they have an amazing coach and the players on the court are phenomenal,” Magpies coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said of her team's upcoming opposition.

“They are going to be a force to be reckoned with at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday.

“The focus on this week will be to limit the Lightning’s mid-court and the effectiveness of their players.

“They have C-Bass and Steph Wood up forward and we have to make sure we limit the supply to them. We also have to keep Geva accountable in defence.”

MATCH DETAILS

Round 4 – Magpies Netball v Sunshine Coast Lightning
Date: 
Sunday, May 20
Time: 1.00pm  (AEST)
Venue: Margaret Court Arena
Gates open: 11:30am
Broadcaster: Channel 9 and Telstra TV
Tickets and Match Day Information –
Click here!