The curtain will officially fall for Bianca Chatfield’s illustrious career when the Melbourne Vixens travel to Auckland to tackle the SKYCITY Mystics in the final match of the 2015 ANZ Championship home-and-away season.
A week fresh from having their finals hopes dashed by the NSW Swifts and the Mystics having already qualified for finals in the New Zealand conference, the Vixens will hope to avoid the dead-rubber tag surrounding the match and send off their long-serving captain in style.
They will travel to Auckland without goal keeper Geva Mentor with youngster Emily Mannix waiting in the wings.
It will see interest added to the Mystics’ shooting circle, with goal shooter Catherine Latu boasting the highest shooting percentage (93.6 per cent) and goal attack Maria Tutaia leading the way for long range shots, shooting at 81.6 per cent accuracy.
Both sides are almost even when it comes to the attacking end of the court, but it is the defensive end that causes most concern for the New Zealand side; in the bottom three for scores against.
Recent history favours the visitors who have won six of the eight clashes between the two sides, including the last three. Their last match up saw the Vixens comfortably account for the Mystics by 24 goals back in Round 1 last year at Melbourne.
The Mystics’ – the leaders of the New Zealand Conference – only recent wins have come against New Zealand sides in the last fortnight, against the Tactix and Magic; following their only other win coming against the Pulse back in early April.
The Vixens, in spite of their season-ending loss last week, have shown an incline in promise in recent weeks, with Chloe Watson and Jo Weston demonstrating they are ready to take the court at anytime.
Both Tegan Philip and Karyn Bailey have been in ominous form and if the Vixens are allowed to get a roll on, could be putting up a big score to close out their season.
LAST MEETING: Rd 1, 2014: Vixens 58 def Mystics 34, Melbourne