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Match Preview | SSN Round 9

Rd 9 preview web
1 year ago

The Vixens head north to face Sunshine Coast Lightning on Sunday in a battle of fourth versus fifth on the ladder.

THE MATCH

Sunshine Coast Lightning vs Melbourne Vixens
Sunday 14 May, 2pm AEST
UniSC Arena | Gubbi Gubbi Country

HOW TO WATCH

Can’t make it to the game? Tune in live on Foxtel or Kayo Sports Freebies (Australia), Spark Sport (New Zealand) or NetballAustralia.TV (everywhere else).

LAST TIME THEY MET

Round 4, 2023

Vixens (60) defeated Lightning (56) at John Cain Arena

WHAT TO EXPECT

Sitting outside the top four just past the halfway mark of the season with the fourth-placed Vixens currently two games clear, the Lightning are fighting for a place in finals and will throw everything at the visitors when they meet on the Sunshine Coast.

The combination of Cara Koenen and Steph Wood has been outstanding so far this year; coach Simone McKinnis may draw on any combination of stalwarts Jo Weston and Emily Mannix with the in-form Liv Lewis to shut down Lightning’s moving circle. The Vixens will need to continue their signature full-court defensive pressure and slow up the Lightning midcourt to give their circle defenders a chance to force turnover ball.

The return of Kate Eddy (2 intercepts, 4 deflections, 3 gains) was crucial in disrupting the flow of feeds into Fever’s Jhaniele Fowler in Round 8, and her teammates will no doubt look to her for a similar impact to combat the speed and craft of Wood and Annie Miller.

ONE TO WATCH

Kiera Austin put out a stunning performance in Round 8, collecting 2 intercepts, 4 deflections, 13 goal assists and sinking the match-winning super shot on the buzzer. Her 129.5 Net Points reflected her work rate both in attack and defence and her strong connection with MJ Kumwenda, and she’ll need to replicate that effort this weekend up against South African superstar Karla Pretorius who has built a formidable partnership with former Vixen Kadie-Ann Dehaney.

THE NUMBER

100%: Coach Simone McKinnis applauded her side’s high conversion rate from centre passes in the final term of the clutch win over Fever in Round 8. She’ll be asking for the same level of composure from Liz Watson and Kate Moloney in maintaining possession and relying on their connections with their goalers against Lightning, whose ball speed on transition and in attack can punish sides quickly for any lost ball.

#VixensUnleashed

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