After the long-awaited commencement of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season last weekend - which saw the Melbourne Vixens take a healthy 63-52 victory over the Collingwood Magpies - it’s business as usual as they now turn their attention to Round 2 and the Queensland Firebirds.
Following the longest pre-season that arguably any sports league has had to endure, the Vixens powered home in a dominant 18-9 final term, shaking off the cobwebs and the feisty young Magpies’ line-up.
As well as finally getting season 2020 underway, there were more celebrations for the Vixens, who blooded two debutants in Sunday’s win.
2019 Victorian Fury Premiership-winning captain and goal keeper, Jacqui Newton, took the court in the second quarter, playing on her former Fury teammate, Emma Ryde, who was also making her debut for the Magpies. After being a member of the Melbourne Vixens squad as a Training Partner for several years, it was a just reward for Newton to debut outside the capacity of being a Temporary Replacement Player, due to the introduction of rolling subs and the increase of allowing 12 players on the bench in this condensed season.
Another much-awaited Vixens debutant was a fellow defender in Kate Eddy. After returning to Victoria from the NSW Swifts at the end of 2019, the Victorian native and former Vixens Training Partner finally took to the court as a ‘fully fledged’ Vixen in Sunday’s clash with the Magpies.
“It was pretty exciting – the longest pre-season ever is finally over!” Eddy laughed. “I don’t think a lot of us thought it was going to go ahead until the whistle blew, but it was pretty exciting to finally get out there.”
Eddy was stellar in her Vixens debut, up against a strong Browne sister duo for most of the game, yet lead the team sheet for intercepts with four. However, like the rest of the team, Eddy now turns her attention to sunshine state hosts, the Queensland Firebirds, where she will likely line up on either Macy Gardner or former Vixen, Lara Dunkley, in wing attack.
“I think personally, it’s just [about] re-setting and trying to just work on my game. I’ve been watching some footage and things like that, so more so just one-on-one stuff.”
The Vixens clash with the Firebirds at Nissan Arena on Sunday afternoon from 3pm. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 9.
For our Melbourne army, you can support the Vixens from home on the couch, by using the hashtag #VixensAtHome on your social media, and become a Beyond the Court member for just $55 here.