Geva Mentor of the Lightning, Jhaniele Fowler of the West Coast Fever and Karla Pretorius of the Lightning clash during the Round 10 Super Netball match between the West Coast Fever and the Sunshine Coast Lightning at HBF Stadium in Perth on Saturday.
Geva Mentor of the Lightning, Jhaniele Fowler of the West Coast Fever and Karla Pretorius of the Lightning clash during the Round 10 Super Netball match between the West Coast Fever and the Sunshine Coast Lightning at HBF Stadium in Perth on Saturday. TONY MCDONOUGH

Closing out games a major focus for Lightning

Sunshine Coast Lightning has had plenty of tightly-contested battles of late and learning how to better close them out is vital as the season approaches the pointy end, according to coach Noeline Taurua.

The Coast outfit fell agonisingly short of triumph against the Fever in Perth on Saturday, going down by one goal 59-58.

It was the third fixture in a row where the Coast has taken the game down to the wire.

They drew with Giants in round eight and managed to come out on top against Firebirds by one goal last week.

"I think we've just got to get consistency and be able to close those tight games out and it's still something we need to learn and to be better on," Taurua said.

"It's very close in this competition and every ball is definitely of value and we've just got to be able to hold our nerve sometimes in those really tight situations.

"We're not too far off of being able to absorb that pressure better than what we have done throughout the competition so we've go to keep learning and keep working really hard."

She said credit had to be given to the Fever, who managed to claw back the Lightning's four goal lead.

"I do think we've got to give respect to the opposition and that's what sport is about," she said.

"It's about going with the ebbs and flows that actually happen out on court and trying to control them as much as possible but when it comes down to it and when we are in those situations it's who can execute under pressure."

Caitlin Bassett shot 43 of 47 while Steph Wood landed 15 of 19.

Despite the loss, Taurua was proud of her team's efforts on court.

"There's still a lot of positives that we can take out and we'll look at the learnings and what we can do be better for next week but overall it was very physical and a tight game," she said.

"We pushed them really hard and out of that I'm quite happy with some of the stuff we did out on court knowing we had a big trip we had to contend with as well."

Although they copped their fifth loss of the season she said the Lightning continued to build each game.

"There has been a swing I must say in regards to our performance," she said.

"Right at the beginning of the competition we leaked sometimes at least, at times, 10 goals in one quarter and we were always in catch up mode.

"We have improved in that respect and we are starting stronger at the beginning of the game so we're not leaking big scores as we were previously and that's why we can run with these bigger teams."

The Lightning sits just outside the top four on 41 points heading into round 11 of 14 of the Super Netball season.