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Super Netball Preseason Fixtures 2017

Queensland Firebirds celebrate Jason O'Brien/Getty Images

The Melbourne Vixens have put on a strong display against newcomers the Sunshine Coast Lightning to win both the weekend's practice matches.

Both games were tight clashes, with the Vixens prevailing by just three goals in the first match of the weekend, despite a late Lightning come back, finishing the game 55-52.

Vixens coach, Simone McKinnis OAM, said the side had learnt plenty on their road trip and explained the side's reasoning for heading north for their preseason.

"Even though they (Lightning) came back at us strongly, I think at those critical moments we composed ourselves and pushed out again," MicKinnons the Lightning media team.

"One of the reasons we came here was because we haven't previously travelled to the Sunshine Coast to compete, so it was about getting familiar with this road trip."

With both side's without several international players who are currently preparing for the coming Quad Series, the Lightning chose to use star players Caitlin Bassett and Stephanie Wood lightly as they returned from injury.

Lightning Coach Noeline Taurua conceded her team lacked spark early-on in Saturday's showdown, but admired their determination to fire back.

"After the first quarter it was nearly home and hosed at 17-7. They (Vixens) had a great presence and I don't think we reacted fast enough," Taurua said.

"We showed a bit of grit but we need to be able to maintain our intensity throughout the match and not be as reactive to the opposition.

"There's a mind shift we need to make as well, to know it's not just going to happen and we have to make it happen."

The return of Wood and her strong performance alongside Bassett was great news for Taurua, as Wood made her comeback from a knee injury.

"It's a real highlight for us seeing her out there. For us to have Steph play four quarters is positive for her and our team," explained Taurua.

"That combination of Steph and Caitlin (Bassett) is big for us. I want them to be a bit stronger and show their experience out there."

There was plenty of action throughout the first of the Super Netball's preseason friendlies between new sides Sunshine Coast Lightning and Giants as well as NSW Swifts and Queensland Firebirds.

It was the new sides first public outing on the weekend, with one of them making a major late addition to their roster.

Giants Netball announced on Friday they had signed 2015 Australian World Cup-winning squad member Rebecca Bulley.

The 34-year-old defender had retired after that tournament but has been coaxed back into competition to help the Giants replace Kristian Manu'a who last month ruptured an achilles tendon.

The Giants were impressive in their match-ups, drawing with last year's champions the Firebirds, while they dominated fellow newcomers the Lightning.

Giants captain Kim Green was impressed with her side's results on the Gold Coast, but admitted there is still a long way to go for her side ahead of Super Netball's first whistle in February.

"We had some great passages of play out there but there is still an awful lot of work to do to find our connections," Green told Super Netball.

The same couldn't be said for their cross city rivals, who succumbed to the Firebirds and the Lightning.

While it was a mixed bag for the Lightning, with midcourter Laura Langman stating the new side had a clearer idea of what need to be done.

"We now have a clear understanding of where we need to get to in the next few weeks," Langman said.