Karla Pretorius of the Lightning
Karla Pretorius of the Lightning John McCutcheon

Swifts pose super test for Lightning

NETBALL: Defensive weapon Karla Pretorius says Lightning are relishing the chance to battle against the prowess of competition heavyweights Swifts.

The Sunshine Coast will host the ladder leaders at USC Stadium on Saturday for a Round 11 Super Netball clash and have the chance to not only narrow the gap to the top but earn the spot themselves.

The Lightning are the only side to have beaten the Swifts this season but, while they drew plenty of confidence from the result, Pretorius said the battle would be a completely different kettle of fish.

Swifts are a different outfit to that which the Lightning toppled in Round 4, recently signing Silver Ferns defender Katrina Rore, boasting temporary injury replacement Kiwi international Kayla Cullen and missing captain Maddy Proud.

The Swifts also withdrew their top goal shooter Helen Housby late on Friday as a precaution due to an aggravated thigh injury.

"We do draw confidence out of that (earlier win) but (it's important) knowing this is a new game and new round, so it's a different story,” Pretorius said.

"We know Swifts are a very consistent team and don't make a lot of errors. They have good combinations on both ends and even in the middle.

"So, it's going to be a tough game but we are definitely looking forward to that challenge.”

Lightning managed to hold off a fast finishing Firebirds following a short turnaround from the Netball World Cup last week and Pretorius said they'd be in even better form for this weekend's clash.

"Last week was more about getting back after all the travel of the world cup and just making sure we recover but this week was basically making sure we get back into routine and I think preparation-wise we are much better prepared this week than last week,” she said.

Lightning are second on the eight-team ladder, seven points behind Swifts.

There's just four rounds remaining in the Super Netball regular season, with the top four sides progressing into the finals.



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