Having secured the Minor Premiership for 2020, the Melbourne Vixens will now travel to Cairns for an extra special Indigenous Round clash with the Queensland Firebirds.
The Vixens are coming off an eight-goal win over crosstown rivals the Collingwood Magpies in Round 12, but despite the eventual victory, the ladder leaders didn’t have things all their way.
“I think just in that first part we weren’t disciplined with what we were doing,” explained veteran goaler, Tegan Philip. “It was just some little errors that were probably uncharacteristic to us, so we certainly need to sort that out and clean that up, but knowing that if we did that we were still well and truly in the game.”
“It’s always a battle against Magpies and we absolutely love it, so getting the win like we did we were really happy with.”
After playing two games a week for the majority of the new-look 2020 season, the Vixens have now had the luxury of an eight-day break ahead of Round 13.
“This week we’ve kind of made it like we’re back at home and preparing for a normal week-to-week game,” Philip explained. “It’s certainly a little bit of an adjustment for us, feeling like we’ve got a little bit of extra time, but we’re certainly acknowledging that it is different this week because we did just get into the swing of two games a week.”
Philip’s 11th season at the Vixens has definitely been the most unusual. On top of the proverbial spanner in the works thanks to a global pandemic, Philip has also spent time in a rotating goal circle with fellow experienced goalers, Mwai Kumwenda and Caitlin Thwaites.
“It is an adjustment this year but something that we think is our strength,” Philip elaborated. “All three of us are actually really enjoying it and more than happy to be playing our role out on court, but then also being on the bench knowing that we’ve got just as good shooters out on court doing what they need to be doing for the team, so yeah we’re really enjoying it and having a bit of fun.”
Philip and Thwaites have been roommates since the team’s initial quarantine period in Queensland, but that doesn’t mean they are up late, chatting tactics.
“On our day off I did say ‘no netball talk today – that’s a rule’,” Philip laughed. “But no, we definitely have a chat about the game – what’s happening and what’s going to happen – but it’s not all netball talk that’s for sure. Got to clear the minds a little, have a bit of down time.”
The Vixens will depart for Cairns on Saturday and be in a unique situation where once again they will be hosting a Queensland-based team on their own turf.
“We’re looking forward to going to Cairns,” Philip continued. “A nice little trip for us because obviously we’ve been here in Brisbane the whole time, so we are looking forward to that and we always love playing Firebirds in the Indigenous Round and how much of a big deal they make and how they certainly get around it. We love being a part of that, so we’re definitely looking forward to it.”
The Vixens will host the Firebirds at the Cairns Pop Up Arena on Sunday 20 September. The match will be broadcast live on Channel 9 from 1pm.
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