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Round 11 Preview | Vixens vs Swifts

1 month ago

The Vixens host the NSW Swifts for the decider of the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup, with another bumper crowd expected when the two legacy clubs do battle at John Cain Arena on Sunday.

Presented by BMD


Melbourne Vixens vs NSW Swifts
Sunday 23 June, 2pm AEST
John Cain Arena | Wurundjeri Country


Kiera Austin
Ruby Barkmeyer
Rudi Ellis
Sophie Garbin
Lily Graham
Sharni Lambden
Emily Mannix (VC)
Kate Moloney (C)
Hannah Mundy
Jo Weston


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Round 5, 2024
Swifts (59) defeated by Vixens (61) at Ken Rosewall Arena


There’s something about a NSW-Victoria rivalry that brings a little more fire and intensity to the sporting arena, and netball is no different. The Sargeant-McKinnis Cup champions the intense rivalry of two legacy clubs, dating back to the days when the Phoenix and Kestrels faced the yellow and blue Sydney Swifts.

Simone McKinnis and Anne Sargeant were two of the greatest players to pull on a bib for their respective states – and the country – and with the Swifts holding the trophy from 2023, and the Vixens victorious in game one this year, it’s all on the line in this decider.


The Swifts are coming off a hard-fought loss to Fever in Round 10, and the Vixens have now defeated every team in the competition after a tight win over the Lightning.

Despite parting ways with prolific goal shooter Sam Wallace-Joseph, the Swifts rallied against the Perth powerhouse and surged home to win the final quarter. They’ll be desperate to stay in touch with the top four to remain in finals contention, and the visitors can’t be underestimated.

The Swifts’ shooting circle are big users of the super shot – they posted 18 from 26 attempts last week – so the Vixens’ defence, bolstered by the return of Rudi Ellis from an ankle injury, will need to be disciplined across the whole court and limit their feeding opportunities. Your fan-voted MVP Sharni Lambden relished her chance in wing defence last week, and with Ellis back and Jo Weston in strong form on the wing, this lineup offers coach Simone McKinnis valuable options for the crucial task of shutting down access to circle edge.

Former Swift Sophie Garbin’s connection with Kiera Austin forced a reshuffle in defence last time with goal keeper Sarah Klau – who is fourth in the league for intercepts – pushing out to goal defence for the second half of the match, and they’ll be keen to disrupt the Swifts’ defensive flow once again this week.


Both teams will be asking for brilliance from their midcourt leaders, which sets up a tantalising battle between Kate Moloney and Maddy Proud. The two centres play with their heart on their sleeve and are almost a mirror-image, statistically speaking. Proud has the slight attacking advantage at an average of 33 feeds and 19 goal assists (compared to Moloney’s 32 and 14, respectively), but Moloney is a ball-treasurer – averaging two fewer turnovers per game – which could prove the difference. Proud has been unlucky to miss four matches through injury, including game one of the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup, so will be out to prove she can get her Swifts over the line.


2: Just two goals separate the Vixens and Swifts in the battle for the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup – the cup is awarded based on aggregate scores for the two matches each year, so consider our game one win just a small head start!




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