GRAND FINAL BOUND: The Giants' Jo Harten in action in the side's win over the Vixens in Melbourne.  The Giants will go on to play the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the final.
GRAND FINAL BOUND: The Giants' Jo Harten in action in the side's win over the Vixens in Melbourne. The Giants will go on to play the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the final. DAVID CROSLING

Lightning now knows which team it needs to beat in decider

NETBALL: The Sunshine Coast will collide with Greater Western Sydney in Super Netball's decider after the latter eased past Melbourne on Saturday.

The Giants claimed a 65-57 preliminary final win over the minor-premier Vixens at Hisense Arena, where goal attack Jo Harten produced a strong showing.

So the Lightning - which booked its berth on the big stage a week earlier - can now fully ready itself for the clash at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in less than a week.

Coach Noeline Taurua recently told media the Giants would be a difficult proposition.

"They have the extra bonus of being able to play three different combinations in their attacking end and that's quite hard to prepare for," she said.

The two sides - which were only formed a year ago for the new national league - have collided on two occasions this year and essentially nothing has separated them. The Lightning lost by a goal at home in round four before winning by a goal away in the 14th and last round of the regular season.

The Sunshine Coast finished its home-and-away campaign in second place before beating the Vixens by a goal in the major semi-final at Melbourne to earn a week off and hosting rights for the grand final.

Meanwhile, the Giants finished the regular season in third place of eight teams before beating Collingwood by a goal in the minor semi-final at Sydney to keep its hopes alive.

It then beat the Vixens in a show of force, with Harten posing plenty of danger and bagging 23 of 25 goal attempts and Kristina Brice snaring 42 of 45.

However, bookmakers have adjudged Lightning as the slight favourite for the grand final.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine Coast community has been urged to wear a splash of yellow to work or school on Wednesday in a show of support for the team.


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