There’s not many people who would have thought that the reigning champions would be winless after two games, however, that is the situation that the Sunshine Coast Lightning are looking at right now. The Lightning have had two narrow losses, the first was a one-goal thriller to the NSW Swifts, while last weekend cross-town rivals the Queensland Firebirds finished three goals ahead. The Lightning have recorded four bonus points so far in 2018, leaving them sixth on the ladder. Fever on the other hand come into the game off the back of an impressive 11-goal victory over the Magpies at Perth Arena last weekend. Fever sit atop the ladder by one point over the Giants, and have claimed all but one bonus point so far this season.
Geva Mentor and Karla Pretorius are one of the game’s best defensive combinations. Pretorius in particular has carried her Grand Final MVP form into 2018, recording nine deflections and eight intercepts so far, the most of anyone in the League. Mentor has recorded 13 deflections, the most in Suncorp Super Netball this year. Interestingly, Mentor last lined up on Jhaniele Fowler in 2016, with both athletes wearing different colours; Mentor for the Vixens, Fowler for the Steel. The Steel won the match by 11 goals, with Fowler scoring 49/54, while Mentor had an interception and two deflections.
Kelsey Browne has been doing a wealth of work for the Lightning’s midcourt, recording 50 centre pass receives and 37 goal assists so far. She’s the only Lightning midcourter to feature in the top eight athletes in the League in either category, and her connection with shooters Caitlin Bassett and Steph Wood are growing week by week. Browne’s 37 goal assists rank her 6th in the League.