COLLISION COURSE: Stephanie Wood (L) and Caitlin Bassett (3rd L) of the Lightning fight for a high ball against Bec Bulley (2nd L) and Sam Poolman (R) during the Round 14 Super Netball match between the Giants and the Sunshine Coast Lightning at the Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park last month.
COLLISION COURSE: Stephanie Wood (L) and Caitlin Bassett (3rd L) of the Lightning fight for a high ball against Bec Bulley (2nd L) and Sam Poolman (R) during the Round 14 Super Netball match between the Giants and the Sunshine Coast Lightning at the Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park last month. DANIEL MUNOZ

Star shooter shapes up for torrid battle with in-form keeper

NETBALL: Last time they met, Caitlin Bassett was left bloodied and battered but a winner.

And the Sunshine Coast star goal shooter is determined to end up on the right side of the ledger again when she collides with GIANTS Netball goal keeper Sam Poolman in Saturday night's Super Netball grand final.

She's anticipating another torrid clash under the hoop, in what looms as the key match-up.

"When we met in round 14 I got a split lip and a bruised chin so I'm expecting nothing different," she said.

"Sam has developed massively this year. It's probably her first year holding down a starting position and she's definitely taken a big step up in her game so I'm looking forward to getting out and doing battle with her again."

Bassett said she won't back down from the challenge but is wary of being too physical, because she can't afford to be penalised.

"It's going to be about being consistent for the entire game. I can't have any lapses in concentration otherwise she (Poolman) is going to jump on that."

"And I have to make sure I'm on my shot the whole game because she's a strong rebounder who is very tall as well, so she's a big presence over the shot."

Bassett, 29, is 193cm while Poolman, 26, is 189cm.

The former is the Australian goal shooter and a 12-year professional while the latter has emerged as a force this season after making her debut in 2013.

Poolman is steeled for the encounter.

"There's so many great shooters in our competition but obviously Bassett is one of the best shooters for Australia and internationally so I definitely have my work cut out for me and I'm really looking forward to the challenge," she said.

Bassett will have support in the form of goal attack Stephanie Wood while Poolman will have assistance in established goal defence Rebecca Bulley.

The Lightning sharp-shooter is wary of the defensive combination.

"They're a (relatively) new partnership but they've quickly formed a connection," she said.

"They (Giants) had a fantastic game against Vixens last weekend and a big contributing factor was her (Poolman) and Rebecca's work in the circle."

And Poolman is cautious of the attacking pair.

"She (Bassett) scores a lot of goals for them but...Steph is more than capable of shooting out the game herself and then they have a really quick slick mid-court (as well), so I need to be on my job and the girls around me in our defensive unit will help me to shut them down."

The two teams have met twice this season, sharing honours with one-goal margins.

Poolman expects another close contest.

"The first game we just got over the top of them in the final 30 seconds and then they just got over the top of us and I have no doubt this game will go down to the last couple of minutes as well. It will be a great match," she said.



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