Following a tense draw against Fever last weekend, the Vixens return to Melbourne, taking on the NSW Swifts to claim not only the top of the table, but also the prestigious Sargeant McKinnis Cup.
While coach Simone McKinnis OAM was disappointed with last weekend’s performance, she assures there were some positives to take from it heading into the game against the Swifts, who she acknowledges are playing some really good netball.
“Certainly, they’re playing with lots of confidence and moving the ball with speed, and I think Wallace has been a really solid, strong target for them this early part of the season. She’s been really dangerous and potent for them, so defensively it’s going to be really tough for us.’’
Speaking of the rivalry between the two states, McKinnis admits she always looks forward to the contest.
“I do like the recognition - apart from the names on the cup, but it is about that NSW-Victoria rivalry, and Swifts and Vixens are traditional clubs that have been around for a while,” McKinnis said.
“It’s a rivalry that goes back a long time, and I like that NSW-Victorian element of the contest.’’
Defender Jo Weston always looks forward to this round, and suggests the rivalry stems back to her younger playing days.
“New South Wales and Victoria have a pretty strong rivalry and that’s something that we’ve definitely experienced at Vixens level and from underage as well,” Weston said.
Excited to be back at the intimate Margaret Court Arena in front of a home crowd, Emily Mannix says they are ready to put last weekend’s game behind them.
“We’ve learnt a lot from the game, and I think the draw has been good in a way. We’ve looked at the game and looked at ourselves individually as well…and we’re ready to give the Swifts a good crack,” Mannix said.
“It was disappointing, but for them to be up by five and for us to fight back, I think that was a really positive thing. We were able to fight back and draw in the end, which maybe not a lot of other teams would have done.”
There are still tickets left to this weekend’s game, head to Ticketek to purchase! Doors will open at 11.30am with ANL and a members signing session after the match. Find all the game day information here!
If you can’t make it to the game, catch all the action live on Channel Nine at 1pm on Sunday.