The Melbourne Vixens head north to take on fourth placed Queensland Firebirds in what will be a special weekend for Suncorp Super Netball in its inaugural Indigenous Round.
After a successful run since the mid-season bye, the Melbourne Vixens head north to take on fourth placed Queensland Firebirds in what will be a special weekend for Suncorp Super Netball in its inaugural Indigenous Round.
Although the Firebirds were the first of this year’s three losses for the Vixens, midcourter Liz Watson isn’t fazed by the prospect, noting that the Vixens side has improved since their Round 3 defeat.
“We’ve had a look back at that game and reviewed based on that performance,” said Watson.
“We play so differently to how we played back then, and we’ve improved so much, especially in the last three weeks. We’re probably a lot more prepared to play against them.”
Coach Simone McKinnis said the preparation has revolved around improvements within the squad, with the goal to keep the intensity up for the full four quarters.
“Each week we’ve identified things that we need to improve on from one week to the next and we’ve spent a lot of time fine tuning these,” said McKinnis.
“In our main court session this week, it’s focussing on those things and working on the discipline as a team and playing out a game for the entire four quarters.”
The Vixens line up includes three new names since the Round 3 loss to the Firebirds including Renae Ingles (replacing Chloe Watson) and training partners Tayla Honey (replacing Khao Watts) and Jacqui Newton (Emily Mannix), and Watson has confidence they will step up if required.
“The training partners are a big part of the Vixens program, and we train with Jacqui and Tayla (and Lara Dunkley and Rahni Samason) each week to really work the connections and get a feel for each other and help them understand the game plan.
“The level of intensity that they put into match play is right up to the standard that we need and whoever has to step out on court will do a great job.”
In acknowledgment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Vixens will proudly wear an Indigenous dress designed by artist Nakia Cadd.
“I’m so proud of Nakia and the work she has done to design our dress, especially aligning her family’s stories with the values of the Melbourne Vixens,” said McKinnis.
“She is incredibly talented and I’m glad we can be involved in a small token of acknowledgement of the country’s history.”
“Being presented with the dress last night and to know the stories behind the artwork is so special to us,” said Watson.
“We’re not just wearing a dress that is designed for this Round; but designed based on the values in which the Vixens stand for and I’m honoured to be wearing it this weekend."