The Melbourne Vixens will be looking to get back on the winner’s list when they tackle the NSW Swifts to open Round 11 of the Suncorp Super Netball season tomorrow evening.
The game will be the second and deciding match in the 2020 battle for the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup, the first instalment of which was played just nine days ago, in a thriller where the Vixens ran out three-goal winners.
The Vixens will need to improve on their Round 10 performance if they are to overcome the Swifts however, after managing to sneak a 63-all draw against fourth-placed West Coast Fever.
Veteran goaler, Caitlin Thwaites – who was also named Nissan’s Player of the Match for her performance against the Fever – said her side was pleased with the fight they showed after trailing by as much as 14 goals during the third quarter.
“We needed to wrestle back a bit of that momentum and for us to be able to score on some of the ball that we were getting,” Thwaites explained of the Vixens fight back against the Fever.
“I think we had quite a lot of turnovers by half time and that was due to the great pressure that the Fever were putting on us, so to be able to I guess find that timing and that groove for our attack, that was something that we were definitely looking for, and once we did kind of get that momentum, putting a little bit of that scoreboard pressure back on.”
“That was really good to show the spirit and the fight from the team, and that we were really giving it a good crack to come back at them.”
The ever-controversial Suncorp Super Shot was a key factor in the Vixens muscling themselves back into the game, successfully netting nine attempts from the outer arc, compared to the Fever’s one.
“That’s probably been one of the first games where we have been behind and had to take the chances and the opportunities [of the Super Shot]…we’ve definitely used it very strategically throughout the season,” Thwaites explained.
“In terms of I guess not necessarily having to use it if we’ve got a good lead or just keeping the scoreboard ticking over, but definitely when we were down by a fairly big margin we needed to start taking some of those risks and you know they did start to pay off for us and get us kind of…spring-boarded us back…close to their score.”
“So, it was something that we utilised, but it’s also a very conscious thing of when we’re trying to use that and I thought that was…smart by all of our attack end, to take those chances when we needed to.”
Looking towards another much-anticipated one-versus-two match against the Swifts, Thwaites said she thought her side’s style of game set them up well for a favourable result.
“It only feels like a week ago that we played them,” she laughed, “so I think those things are still very fresh in our mind about the way that we did play against them. We’ll watch some of the footage…[and] look at them and what they’ve done in the past couple of games as well.”
“For us, I think…the style of game we play - really fast ball movement, good speed and full-court defensive pressure - think it’s really paying dividends for us to be able to get a lot of ball and then hopefully just keep that attack end running smoothly and get that really good timing.”
The Swifts will host the Vixens at the Sunshine Coast’s USC Stadium on Tuesday 8 September. The match will be broadcast live on Telstra TV and the Netball Live App from 5pm.
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