The Melbourne Vixens have gone down to their cross-town rivals Collingwood Magpies in a thriller match, suffering a three-goal loss, 52-55 in their first encounter this year.
The Magpies got off to an early lead, taking the first bonus point, before the Vixens fought back hard in the second half. A strong defensive effort from Mannix, Weston and Nissan Player of the Match Ingles clawed the girls back in the game.
Coach Simone McKinnis OAM was disappointed with how the girls started in the first quarter and was hoping to break this reoccurring factor in their games.
“We were on the back foot, and probably that’s the second week in a row now and not the first time this year either,” said McKinnis.
“In those starts, it’s the simple things, like basic execution and basic skills. It was a slow start, but we were able to fight our way back into the game again. We made it very hard for ourselves every step of the way.
“I can’t question the defence. I thought we got some great ball back, and I think we didn’t have that finish in the shooting circle that we needed.”
The first half saw an unusually rattled attack end, with Moloney and Watson switching positions early in the game.
“We were just getting caught on the body in the attack end, and not taking our drives. That change with Kate and Lizzy has been working well for us at training, so it changed things for a little while and then we worked it back again and we got back to our normal flow in the midcourt area.”
While the result wasn’t what the Vixens were searching for, super mum Renae Ingles continued her impressive form, named Player of the Match for the third time this season. Ingles took two game changing intercepts and five deflections that resulted in a gain, slowly edging her team within hopeful distance.
“Renae was fantastic…she was outstanding in her desperation and fight for the ball. As an attack end, we have to pay that effort back with goals and we’re not at the moment. That is killing us in games like this.”
The Vixens walked away with two bonus points and plenty to take from the game to improve on next weekend.
It was a terrific atmosphere in a sold-out Melbourne Arena, to recognise the Vixens members and to come together as a netball community to FightMND.
The Vixens will head to Brisbane to take on the Queensland Firebirds on Sunday, in Suncorp Super Netball’s Indigenous round where the team will be wearing a custom designed dress by Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward.
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