Lions confident ahead of sudden death semi

Brisbane West Lions goal shooter Luci Benjamin says her side are ready to dig deep and back up their round eight Samsung QSNL Division 1 win over the Cougars in this Saturday’s knockout semi-final.

The Lions reeled off five straight fourth quarter goals to roll over the Cougars by a single point and snap Brisbane North’s undefeated run last time the sides met.

Benjamin said her side had only grown in confidence after extending their win streak to five with an elimination final win over the Lynx last Tuesday.

“We’re hitting out stride as a team moving into finals which is really positive for us,” she said.

“We had a bit of a rough start to the season where we weren’t really gelling – we were missing players with Fusion and had Sunshine Coast Lightning training partners away. Now we’ve had some time to gel, we’ve found a solid game plan as a crew.

“We have a lot of fight and across the board we have a lot of talent in all areas. We have one of the strongest defensive teams in the competition and a lot of flexibility in our attack. We have Tippah (Dwan), myself and Briony (Payne) and each of us can play any position effectively.

“We’re focused on a full team effort and working together across the court as a team. That’s what’s brought it together for us in the last couple of weeks and that’s what we’ll continue to focus on.

“It’s going to be a really, really good game. A physical encounter and a close one.”

Cougars wing defence Maddie Hinchliffe said her side’s recent losses against title rivals the Lions and Brisbane East Tigers had helped her side find another gear as they aimed to go back-to-back.

“I think we took a lot from our last meeting with the Lions – especially the last few minutes – so I think we can close out the game now. We’re a lot more confident in that area,” Hinchliffe said.

“It sounds strange, but I love losing. I hate going through seasons undefeated because you never really know what you’re going to do when you’re in a tough situation. It’s good to have a couple of losses at the back end of the season because we know we can come back. We’re ready to fight.

“Their attack end is a lot of the Fusion attack end and our defence end is a lot of the Fusion defence end, so it’ll be a good match up. They play aerially and like to move the ball around quickly, so we’ll need to get our hands over to really block where they’re going and really dictate their moves.

“We love playing Lions. It’s going to be a really tough match up, but we love playing together and just want to keep this season going for as long as we can.”

Brisbane North Cougars take on Brisbane West Lions at Logan Metro Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday 17 June 2017 at 5pm. Tickets $7 for adults and $5 for concessions on the door.