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Lightning strikes as Swifts stunned in top-of-the-table clash

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“We needed to get ball and the defence did a great job of doing that,” Koenen said.

“We like to get around each other when some one pulls something out of the box.

“Karla [Pretorious] seems to be able to pull off those big intercepts at critical moments.”

Koenen kept Sunshine Coast in it earlier with 26 goals while the Swifts’ import shooter Sam Wallace had 36 goals from 37 attempts.

The win kept the Lightning in second place on the ladder, three competition points behind NSW.

It was a revealing evening for the league-leading Swifts – the side had the luxury of resting the world’s best goal attack Helen Housby, who had been battling a thigh problem.

Another England Test star, Natalie Haythornthwaite, emerged for her first national league game of the season while former New Zealand captain Katrina Rore suited up for her debut.

Sophie Garbin made her starting debut in place of Housby but, with so many changes, the Swifts spent much of the first quarter wrestling with new combinations and a clinical Lightning line-up.

Stephanie Wood’s court craft gradually unpicked NSW’s defence with her fast feet, slick hands and artful knack of choosing the right pass for every situation.

Wood’s radar was off, shooting only five of 10 as the Lightning tried to seize control of the first half.

The Swifts’ hard-nosed defence forced changes to Sunshine Coast’s attack at three-quarter time, with Wood benched and Proscovia introduced at goal shooter.

AAP

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