Coast aim to stamp mark on competition
NETBALL: Sunshine Coast captain Geva Mentor wants the Lightning to stamp their mark on the competition with victory over Giants on Saturday.
While there are vital points on offer, Mentor believes a result at USC Stadium would provide a significant boost on the run towards finals.
"The realistic fact is that we've got to win at least five of our next seven games," she said.
"For us every game is important and making sure that we build but this one just sets the tone for us and what we're looking to do (for the rest of the season).
"If we want to make sure that we are in the right contention for finals then it's really important that we stamp our mark now."
However, they'll run out on their home courts with a tough challenge on their hands.
The Giants currently sit second on the Super Netball ladder and have won five of their seven matches.
Whereas the Lightning have experienced a much more patchy year, only winning three of their games.
Mentor was well aware of the task ahead.
"I think the last time it was so close and we only lost by two or three goals, so for us it's making sure that in every area of the court we're strong and we're focusing," she said.
"Obviously we need to turn over a lot more ball and for me the disappointing thing in our game last week (against Swifts) was in centre pass defence we didn't turn over enough so that's definitely a key area for us in defence, making sure we provide our attack end with enough opportunity.
"But they're a team that doesn't cough up the ball too much so it's important that we make sure we can turn over theirs and we score off that."
Mentor was also wary of her own internal battle within the game this weekend as she prepares to defend against fellow English Roses attacking talent Jo Harten.
But she said herself and Karla Pretorius were more than ready for the challenge.
"I'm feeling good and I think Karla and I are really looking forward to firing this weekend," she said.
Coach Noeline Taurua also looked forward to squaring up against Giants head coach Julie Fitzgerald.
"I've got such respect for Julie and the teams she coaches," she said.
"We've had a massive rivalry and have always come up against each other in either semis or finals and her statistics are better than mine.
"Every time we play against one another we know it's going to be a fantastic game."
The Lightning are currently sixth on the eight-team Super Netball ladder heading into round eight.
The two teams will collide from 3pm on Saturday.