THE third quarter of sporting contests is often referred to as the “premiership quarter” as big matches can be won or lost directly after halftime.
Sunshine Coast coach Noeline Taurua knows it.
And the crafty Kiwi made sure her Lightning players knew it on Saturday.
Ahead of this Saturday’s Suncorp Super Netball grand final, the Sunshine Coast had a practice match against their training squad players and members of the Queensland men’s netball team at USC Stadium.
The Lightning’s third quarters this season have been sluggish and they fell into bad habits again on Saturday.
Taurua halted play and quickly stopped the rot with some well-chosen words.
“This is the third quarter, we know what that means to us … pick it up … find a way,’’ she told her team who proceeded to play a much cleaner and clinical brand of netball for the rest of the match.
The Lightning earned this weekend off and hosting rights for the decider after beating the Melbourne Vixens in the major semi-final last Saturday.
Taurua wanted her squad to have a hard hitout to prepare for the season showpiece and apart from the start to the third quarter, she was happy with what she saw.
“We know our third quarters haven’t been the best and we’ve been talking about it for at least a month now, slowly chipping away,’’ Taurua said.
“I wanted us to be really disciplined in our execution. Once they got my message, I thought they were fantastic but it took too long to get to that stage.
“The first half there was some silky stuff and the timing was absolutely beautiful but we weren’t able to hold that.
“But overall, that sets us up nicely. Nobody got hurt, everybody had a run and we were able to work through a few different combinations.’’
Tickets for the grand final go on sale to the general public on Tuesday.