Lightning goal attack Steph Wood.
Lightning goal attack Steph Wood. GLENN HUNT

'I can improve': Steph Wood's her own harshest critic

NETBALL: Sunshine Coast Lightning goal attack Steph Wood is her own harshest critic.

By all accounts, and the Super Netball commentary team, the fun-sized 175cm Wood was a colossus for the Sunshine Coast in their thrilling 57-56 win over the Queensland Firebirds.

She shot 20 of 26 shots, many with the game in the balance, time and time again outfoxing the Firebirds' defence.

It was Wood, who with minutes remaining, gave the Lightning a two-goal lead with a clutch long-range shot.

Yet she said she wasn't satisfied and vowed to improve ahead of the semi-final against the Giants.

"I feel like I could have didn't step up as well as I could have," Wood said.

"In the last quarter I missed a shot and got a held ball. Held balls are my pet hate so I guess it stayed with me over the good things I did.

"I need to clean up that part of the game."

Tasked with taking scoring pressure off goal-shooter Caitlin Bassett, Wood's speed and evasion skills were put to the test.

Despite her poor last quarter, the Australian Diamond admitted she was happy with how she opened up space for Bassett who shot 37/39.

"That was our focus going in. Sometimes I play more like a wing attack, whereas this time I was able to get into the shooting circle well," she said.

"It showed with us able to move the ball around a lot and sight Bassett.

"It made me let the mid-court do the job and allowed me to take the pressure off her.

"Giants are a similar team to the Firebirds, so hopefully I can do it again."

At only 175cm tall, Wood has long been told she's too short to play in the shooting circle.

On Sunday, she put that theory to bed, with the attacking combo working in tandem.

She said she would always encourage shorter players coming through grades to "back themselves".



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