In a season-defining round, the Melbourne Vixens will challenge the West Coast Fever in Round Eight of the ANZ Championship at Perth Arena on Saturday.
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Previously playing each other last year in Round 12 of the season, the Vixens defeated the Fever 56-48 on their home turf.
With the competition evenly poised at the halfway mark, Saturday’s match is a must win for the Vixens, who currently sit a game behind the Fever in fourth place.
Captain Madi Robinson will return to Perth for the first time since rupturing her ACL in 2015.
The Vixens are looking to produce a four-quarter performance against the Fever.
“It will be a really good challenge for us as a group and I think we are ready to lift again. We showed we can play well for a half against the Swifts and now we need to play with the same intensity for a full game,” Robinson said.
Her battle with Ashleigh Brazill on the wing will be one of many pivotal contests likely to determine who triumphs in Perth on the weekend.
For Robinson to perform at her best, it will be imperative that teammate Liz Watson gets the better of Shae Brown through the centre court. Brown has been a barometer for the Fever so far this season.
The defensive trio of Geva Mentor, Jo Weston and Kate Moloney will need to work in unison if they want to shutdown the Fever’s Australian Diamonds attacking duo of Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst.
At the other end of the court, Karyn Bailey and Alice Teague-Neeld will aim to expose the Fever’s high defensive penalty count to make the best of every opportunity, however, it will not be an easy task with April Brandley and Courtney Bruce in career best form.
A victory on Saturday would propel the Vixens into third position with a superior percentage against the Fever.
Last competitive meeting: Rd 12, 2015: Melbourne Vixens defeated the West Coast Fever 56-48 at Margaret Court Arena.
Fixtures and 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
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4 June: Vixens v Firebirds, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 12 June: Vixens v Mystics, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19 June: Vixens v Fever, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25 June: Vixens v Steel, Invercargill, NZL
Monday 4 July: Vixens v Pulse, Wellington, NZL
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