Match preview: Vixens v Firebirds

4 years ago

Despite the Australian and New Zealand conference finals still weeks away, the Melbourne Vixens will view their road trip to the Gold Coast to meet the Queensland Firebirds as the first of many do-or-die clashes to come.

Sitting in fourth place on the Australian Conference ladder, the Vixens will hope to bounce back after their loss to a rampant NSW Swifts last week - the team who sits just half a game in front of Melbourne in third spot.

The Vixens will become just the second Australian side to play at the Gold Coast Convention and Entertainment Centre, and for the second time this season, contest for the Challenge Trophy after the Firebirds claimed the award from the West Coast Fever last week.

Queensland's recent form has been a product of a settled starting seven line-up led from defence by captain Laura Geitz and Clare McMeniman, who are conceding a competition-low 47.6 goals per game this season.

The Firebirds scoring circle has gained potency with the ballistic-style of Gretel Tippett complimenting goal shooting giant Romelda Aiken, who are in turn well-serviced by quick mid-court pair Gabi Simpson and Kim Ravallion.

The reigning premiers have trialed several new combinations, becoming the first team this season blood three debutants, including Emily Mannix and Alice Teague-Neeld last weekend.

However, the Vixens will feel they are better prepared this time round than when they last met the Firebirds for the 2014 Grand Final rematch, with young wing attack Kelsey Browne now having the experience of four ANZ Championship matches under her belt.

Opposed to some of the ANZ Championship competition's best defenders in Geitz and McMeniman, the Vixens will be looking to play non-hesitant aggressive netball curtail in particular the Diamonds' captain's influence.

One thing is for certain, the Vixens will need a full court lift in order to snatch the Challenge Trophy from the Firebirds on home soil.

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