It was all smiles when Sunshine Coast Lightning and GIANTS Netball’s head coaches and captains came face to face today to mark Suncorp Super Netball’s grand final eve, but that will change tomorrow.
If you ask the captains to predict the result, they believe the decider will go down to the wire.
“Looking at what’s happened this season, that fact that they pipped us at home by one and we pipped them at their one by one, I think it’s just left it right up for this fantastic game that’s going to be tomorrow night,” said Lightning’s Geva Mentor.
The Lightning skipper was pleased to represent one of three expansion sides in the new league, stating it was fitting in the inaugural season.
“What a fantastic way for this competition, this Suncorp Super Netball, to start off with two brand new teams in it and fighting it out for the title,” she said.
“It will be a great contest and I think it’s going to be won by the team that settles first and manages to take over those nerves.
“For us that have been in Grand Finals before it’s about sharing those experiences with the others.”
Her Giants counterpart Jo Harten also sees the game being closely contested.
“It’s going to be a tight game, we know that,” she said.
“We aren’t sure exactly how it will be play out, but we know will be intense and go down to the wire.
“It’s not going to be won or lost in the first quarter I would have thought, a 60-minute performance and a team that will manage that and cope will the pressure will come out on top.”
Regardless of result, both coaches are proud of their charges.
“I’m really proud of the resilience that the girls have shown all year,” said Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald.
“We had to rebuild in a way, we went through a period where we had to try all the different combinations and I think we have developed great versatility.”
Starting from the ground up, Noeline Taurua is delighted at how far her side has come.
“It was always going to be a squeeze for us to get to this position and I mean we started from absolutely nothing, we had no people, no office or anything like that,” she said.
“A lot of people have done a lot of great work to get us into this position and I’m absolutely rapt. Fantastic that we’ve been able to. We are at home, and we’re grand finalists to start with so I think that’s a good start.”
Sunshine Coast Lightning will host GIANTS Netball on Saturday June 17 at 7.00pm AEST. Get your tickets, or if you can’t make it to the game, tune in live on Channel 9 (9Gem in WA, NT and SA) or the Netball Live mobile app.