West Coast Fever play the underdog card

West Coast Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich doesn't believe her side holds a psychological edge over the Lightning despite thrashing them twice this year.

Fever coach STACEY MARINKOVICH.
Fever coach STACEY MARINKOVICH. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

West Coast Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich is claiming underdog status for Sunday's preliminary final against Sunshine Coast Lightning despite embarrassing the two-time netball premiers twice this season.

Fever thrashed the Lightning 80-56 in round eight before pummelling them 72-52 in round 11.

West Coast have been installed as clear favourites for Sunday's rematch at USC Stadium, with the winner to take on Melbourne Vixens in the grand final.

But Marinkovich was quick to downplay suggestions her team would win easily, and dismissed talk her team held the psychological edge.

"I'd just say that we finished third on the ladder and they were second, so we're the underdogs," Marinkovich said.

"They have such experienced players that can step up in big moments.

"Whilst the results have been pleasing and it gives you confidence your game plan can match up well, I don't think you can sit back and say, 'We've got this'.

"The Lightning will embrace the challenge and they will be coming out hard and fast as soon as that first whistle goes."

The Fever were left miffed after the club's proposal to host a mini hub in Perth earlier this season was dismissed.

Marinkovich says the players are desperate to walk away from the season with success.

"You want to make it worthwhile," she said.

"You don't sit over here for 10 weeks to give up the things you've worked so hard for.

"That's in the back of our minds - that we weren't able to come home, no other team wanted to come to WA to play, and we have taken every challenge and curve ball in our stride.

"This is another one, we go to Lightning, they've got a great support crew there, they're very parochial, and it's not going to be easy walking into enemy territory."

Marinkovich, who was recently appointed Diamonds coach, said the door was not closed on Caitlin Bassett in the national side despite the star goal shooter's decision to continue her club career in New Zealand.

Marinkovich described Australia's Super Netball as the best competition in the world and "like a World Cup on steroids".

But she said Diamonds captain Bassett would remain in the selection mix if she performs well with NZ outfit Waikato Bay of Plenty.

"She's been in the game for a long period of time and this change up might be something refreshing for her," Marinkovich said.

"The competition in NZ is a strong one as well."