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Gerrard expecting tough test against Lightning

Head coach Mo’onia Gerrard is expecting a “tough” game when her Severn Stars side take on the unbeaten Loughborough Lightning at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday (7.30pm).

Lightning sit top of the Vitality Netball Superleague after winning their first eight league games of the season, and inflicted a 56-44 defeat in their first meeting with Stars at the Genting Arena in February’s ‘Super Ten’ fixture.

Gerrard said: “It’s going to be tough. We’ve set ourselves up for a tough ride ahead. We’re going to have to keep fighting for every position and to grow as a team as much as we can.

“But they’re [Loughborough] going to be a tough ask. Knowing what that heat was like against Hertfordshire Mavericks, it’s definitely going to be another challenge for us.

“We just need to be switched on from the get-go.”

Although they had led for most of the final quarter, Stars fell to an agonising defeat last weekend as Mavericks launched a late comeback to snatch a 48-45 victory in the final moments at Hertfordshire Sports Village.

Despite the result, Gerrard was pleased with her side’s much improved performance following their heavy 61-39 loss at the hands of Team Northumbria.

She said: “To be honest, from that really disappointing effort against Team Northumbria, it was a massive turn around in attitude. Just the way we went about our business on court in terms of that intensity and that passion; we fought for every ball.

“Even though the score wasn’t our way, in terms of what we accomplished over the week, it was massive. But, we do need to take the win when we see it. We’ve still got a lot to work on.”

Gerrard, who made an unexpected appearance as a half-time substitute in the defeat against Mavericks, could be named on the bench again in the place of injured goal shooter Afeisha Noel.

She added: “It was very different getting to see what it was like on the court from having to view it off the court in terms of what went down and some areas we need to fix.

“I need to get fit to be honest. That was my first shot on the court in two years. I took this job purely as a coach, and I don’t see myself as a player-coach. I want to see the girls develop and take those positions, and it’s more of a passion for me to see them develop as people and as players on the court.

“I’m fortunate to have a great bunch of girls, but we just need to start clicking on the court.”

The Severn Stars is a joint partnership between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at www.severnstars.co.uk/fixturestickets.

For all enquiries email enquiries@severnstars.co.uk.