Sunday, 17 December 2017

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In the historic title match between two former Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic coaches, Noeline Taurua and the Sunshine Coast Lightning saved their best performance for last, dominating the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final defeating Julie Fitzgerald’s Giants 65 to 48. After winning one game apiece by one point in the regular season, the Lightning recovered from a slow start losing the first quarter 15 to 13 But it didn't take long for the home side to build momentum transforming the final into a game of defense. The Lightning's international experience was instrumental in the win. Kiwi mid-courter Laura Langman clocked up four intercepts in wing defense, while English captain Geva Mentor also contributed to a total of nine intercepts and eight deflections. Australian Goal shooter Caitlin Bassett had the best shooting of the game at 96 per cent - 49 from 51 attempts. Taurua now becomes the first ever coach to take a New Zealand and Australian team to grand final glory but after being overlooked by Netball New Zealand for the Silver Ferns head coach role, she unfortunately has no plans to return anytime soon. "I'm here (in Australia) for at least another two years and we are already looking into how we can be better - we have built a great base and there is so much more we can do to be better" says Taurua.

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