ON COURT: Steph Wood in action against the Giants in Sydney.
ON COURT: Steph Wood in action against the Giants in Sydney. BRENDAN ESPOSITO

Lightning hold no fear of playing decider in enemy territory

NETBALL: Sunshine Coast coach Noeline Taurua says they hold no fear of playing the national league grand final in enemy territory after already overcoming a run of cut-throat games on the road, including a preliminary final on Sunday.

The reigning champions are set to collide with West Coast Fever in Perth after overwhelming the Giants 59-50 in Sydney.

It was their sixth straight win and their third in a row against strong opposition away from home.

They've also recently toppled the Vixens in Melbourne and the Firebirds in Brisbane.

Taurua said Fever deserved favouritism to win the decider because they had finished higher on the ladder and they will have a parochial crowd behind them.

But she said her team would not be rattled and they had proven they could buck home court trends in Super Netball.

"We're grateful to be in this position and to be given the opportunity to play anywhere," she said.

"And the last couple of (finals) games we've had and the round-robin match we had to win have been away, so it doesn't really matter for us where we play."

That the Lightning still have a chance to defend their title is somewhat remarkable, given they lost the first three games of the season.

They've since dropped just two of 13 matches to earn their spot on the big stage again.

"It just took a wee bit of time to be able to settle ... I'm so elated," Taurua said.

"I'm really proud of the girls and the team and where we currently are, and we're in for another week of training and that's an exciting thing."

They were composed against the Giants.

Scores were locked at 15-apiece after the first quarter and the visitors held a 27-26 advantage at the main break.

The Lightning then made the most of the third quarter to get a 43-37 lead.

And there was no letting up as they extended that margin in the final stages.

Goal shooter Caitlin Bassett bagged 40 goals from 43 attempts for a 93% success rate while goal attack Steph Wood nabbed 19 goals from 23 shots at 83%.

"We had a cracker of a third quarter," the coach said.

"We'll take the good things out of this win and congratulate ourselves."

But she said they were determined to continue their momentum.

"We've got to do the best preparation we can during the week and get ourselves ready for the game."

The Lightning will meet Fever on Sunday at 1pm.