Coming off the back of two home match victories, the Melbourne Vixens will face Trans-Tasman rivals the Southern Steel in Round 13 of the ANZ Championship Season in Invercargill, New Zealand on Saturday.
Speaking about the Vixens’ upcoming match, Captain Madi Robinson said, “The Steel are a quality side and have shown that they have taken their game to another level this season, however, I think we can go there this weekend and win.
“The belief in our game plan continues to build. We know what we have to do to win, it’s now just about implementing it.”
Coming off the back of their crucial victory over the West Coast Fever last weekend, Robinson added, “I think against the Fever we were able to demonstrate pressure from the front. It will be vital once again for Geva [Mentor] to shut down the Steel’s Jamaican import Jhaniele Fowler-Reid. There will be a strong importance on our defence across the whole court on Saturday.”
With the 2016 Australian Conference Finals now in reach after defeating the West Coast Fever [60-55] last weekend, the Vixens will need to secure their remaining two New Zealand fixtures of the season for confirmation, however, it will be no easy task with the Steel comfortably sitting atop of the New Zealand Conference ladder.
Previously playing each other last year in Round Eight of the 2015 season, the Vixens defeated the Steel 63-54.
Measuring in at 193cm, Karyn Bailey will most likely line-up in Goal Shooter this weekend, giving the Vixens a height advantage of 12cm in the circle over the Steel’s Goal Keeper Jane Watson.
In order to outrun the Steel, the Vixens will require a full court defensive effort to reject the flow into Fowler-Reid who leads the ANZ Championship League with 582 goals [90%], 100 more goals than Romelda Aiken from the Queensland Firebirds [472, 88.6%].
With travel time not on the Vixens’ side, the team will spend the majority of their three-day trip either in the air or on the road to Invercargill, so preparation and recovery will be key to a strong on-court performance.
Keep your eyes on Liz Watson and Shannon Francois when they come face-to-face in the centre court, it will be a key match-up you will not want to miss.
Last competitive meeting: Rd 8, 2015: Melbourne Vixens won 63-54 to the Southern Steel.
Fixtures & Results
Sunday 3 April: Vixens v Swifts, Sydney, NSW [42-57 Swifts]
Sunday 10 April: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Adelaide, SA [59-44 Vixens]
Saturday 16 April: Vixens v Firebirds, Melbourne, VIC [47-58 Firebirds]
Sunday 1 May: Vixens v Magic, Melbourne, VIC [57-34 Vixens]
Monday 9 May: Vixens v Tactix, Christchurch, NZL [69-48 Vixens]
Sunday 15 May: Vixens v Swifts, Melbourne, VIC [51-59 Swifts]
Saturday 21 May: Vixens v Fever, Perth, WA [54-53 Vixens]
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC [57-51 Vixens]
Saturday 4 June: Vixens v Firebirds, Gold Coast, QLD [44-56 Firebirds]
Sunday 12 June: Vixens v Mystics, Melbourne, VIC [69-46 Vixens]
Sunday 19 June: Vixens v Fever, Melbourne, VIC [60-55 Vixens]
Saturday 25 June: Vixens v Steel, Invercargill, NZL
Monday 4 July: Vixens v Pulse, Wellington, NZL
Watch live on Fox Sports in Australia from 2pm AEST.