Lightning prepare to face Swifts in semi final

Two-time defending champions Sunshine Coast Lightning will face the firing NSW Swifts in the young upstarts maiden Suncorp Super Netball finals series this weekend.

You couldn't have scripted a more captivating semi final battle than this, with the winner set to book a berth in the championship decider in two weeks.

As the Lightning prepare to part ways with inaugural coach Noeline Taurua at season's end, the experience of two finals campaigns - both of which delivered the ultimate success - weighs heavily in the premiers' favour, as does the presence of premiership stars Laura Langman, Steph Wood, Karla Pretorius and Laura Scherian.

The Swifts might be an unknown finals quantity but what they lack in experience they more than make up for in confidence and team unity. A lesser side might have faded out after the loss of captain Maddy Proud and yet the Swifts have reached the finals knowing their best is still good enough to beat anyone.

The semi-final blockbuster could very well be decided in the defensive ends with Lightning goal defence Karla Pretorius and Swifts keeper Sarah Klau set to have a big say in the result, after both starred when the teams last met in Round 11.

The battle between Pretorius and Swifts goal attack Helen Housby shapes as an international clash for the ages, with the two best players at their positions set to face off for the first time since Round 4.

Lightning will compete in the Major Semi Final against NSW Swifts on Saturday from 3pm at USC Stadium.

Watch the game live on Channel 9 or via the Netball Live mobile app.