CRUNCH: Sunshine Coast Lightning's Geva Mentor and Karla Mostert attempt to stop Melbourne's Mwai Kumwenda in a previous game.
CRUNCH: Sunshine Coast Lightning's Geva Mentor and Karla Mostert attempt to stop Melbourne's Mwai Kumwenda in a previous game. Warren Lynam

Lightning aims to stifle vaunted Vixens attack in Super finals

NETBALL: Renowned for its defence, the Sunshine Coast is intent on putting the clamps on Melbourne's highly-billed attack in Super Netball's major semi-final on Saturday.

While the Lightning has conceded the fewest goals (52 per game) this season, the Fever has scored the most (62 per outing).

So the battles surrounding the net should prove instrumental at Margaret Court Arena, where the victor will earn a berth in the decider.

"It's exciting to think that we're one win away from hosting the grand final but for us it's about taking care of the processes," a focused Sunshine Coast captain Geva Mentor said.

The goal keeper leads the league for deflections and defensive rebounds but the Vixens boast the most successful shooting pair in the premiership, in Mwai Kumwenda and Tegan Philip.

They have bagged 874 goals from 981 attempts at 89% accuracy and are the most efficient off their centre pass.

"We know we're coming up against the best shooting combination in the competition and I think Karla (Mostert) and I and Erena (Mikaere) hold the best defensive combination in the competition so it's going be a great battle out there," Mentor said.

"We know were not going to get everything (go our way) but I think it's those little wins that we're able to get throughout the game and (to) really just build on that pressure that we're able to put out there that will hopefully help get us over the edge."

The minor premier Vixens are favoured by bookmakers to beat the Lightning, which finished the eight-team regular season in second place to book its berth in the four-team finals.

But the Lightning are prepared for the occasion (4pm).

"Noels (coach Noeline Taurua) has got a great game plan and we are 100% behind that so we're just looking forward to getting out there and making sure we bring our A game," Mentor said.

The Lightning is in some form too, having won its past four matches and nine of its past 10.

The Vixens have won 10 of its past 11 outings, losing to the Giants three weeks ago.

Should the Lightning lose, it will host the preliminary final next week, against the winner of Saturday's elimination semi-final at Sydney involving third-placed Giants and fourth-placed Magpies.



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