FIRST CONTACT: Sunshine Coast Lightning and Melbourne Storm players mingle at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Friday.
FIRST CONTACT: Sunshine Coast Lightning and Melbourne Storm players mingle at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Friday. Patrick Woods

Stars collide as big brother meets little sister

NETBALL: Such was the excitement when big brother met baby sister at Sunshine Coast Stadium yesterday morning, Storm captain Cameron Smith had to ask the troops to contain themselves.

Not that Caitlin Bassett, at first, knew just what all the fuss was about.

The Sunshine Coast Lightning goal shooter and Western Australian had her first experience of working alongside Melbourne Storm just hours out from her side's second-last trial match against Southern Steel, before Suncorp Super Netball gets under way with a Queensland derby against the Firebirds next weekend.

"I don't know a lot about rugby (league) so there's a lot of unfamiliar faces for me,” she said.

Bassett is looking forward to learning about how Storm has built its professional profile over so many years, and she thinks her side could show them a thing or two.

"Obviously they're completely different sports but there's similarities in training intensity and how we conduct ourselves as athletes,” she said.

As Australia's number one goal shooter, Bassett is aware she'll carry a target on her back this season, starting with a challenge against Laura Clemesha at Boondall next Saturday.

Storm opening training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium and press conference with Sunshine Caost Lightning Netball. Caitlin Bassett and Cameron Smith.
Storm opening training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium and press conference with Sunshine Caost Lightning Netball. Caitlin Bassett and Cameron Smith. Patrick Woods

"I guess when you shoot a bulk of the goals you get a lot of attention and sometimes I do get double-defended,” she said.

"But I think that's the perfect opportunity for the goal-attack (likely Steph Wood or Cara Koenen) to step-up and the fantastic thing is we have goal-attacks who are happy to put up the goals.”

If any defenders think about giving her too much grief, the Storm may be able to offer some handy hints on taking the upper-hand.

"I think netball is getting a little more physical with the aggression over the years. I've seen it increase and contesting is now allowed so I'll be asking for a few sneaky tips that's for sure,” she said.

Smith told reporters Lightning was a great addition to the organisation.

"When we found out last year that we were going to have a netball team on the Sunshine Coast everyone around the club was excited,” he said.

"It's nice to finally meet the girls ... hopefully both teams can do a good job for the club this year.”


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