After their first trip away for the season, the Vixens find themselves at 0-3 after a 12-goal loss to the Swifts.
Looking to redeem themselves after the first two rounds’ losses, and with an eye on retaining the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup, there was plenty on the line for the team.
The message to the group was loud and clear throughout the week: ‘bring the intensity from the first whistle’. Unfortunately, the Swifts had other ideas, taking control of the game and never looking back.
While unable to keep up with the energy of the home side, or the height of their balls into Wallace, it was the Vixens’ missed opportunities from turnovers that were a key factor in the loss.
Head coach Simone McKinnis was disappointed with the performance, citing the lack of intensity and conversions as areas needing improvement.
“Our start was really poor across the board, and I don’t want to be the team that just hangs in there - I want to be the team in there fighting right from the word ‘go’,” said McKinnis.
“We had some opportunities, and we didn’t score, and that is a basic part of the game. We just need to make those opportunities count.”
In an effort to get back into the game, changes were made across the court which saw Kumwenda come out to goal attack, Moloney into wing attack and Smith coming on into centre. The changes and a half time address had a positive impact on the game, with power and confidence injected into the game. The iconic Moloney and Kumwenda ‘come on’s echoed throughout the stadium, but it wasn’t enough to spur to get the team across the line.
Vixens fans held their breath as Dehaney went down with an elbow to her ribs, and Kumwenda with intense cramping. Both will be monitored across the week.
While this hasn’t been the start to the season that the reigning championship coach was hoping for, McKinnis is confident that the team will continue to build.
“Our objective is to get better each week and to learn and grow, and even though there has been disappointment in these losses, there’s definitely been some growth.
“It has been a challenging season, but that can make teams – it’s your ability to come back from challenges and to come back from disappointments – and our focus is that our best is yet to come each week when we step out there.”
The Vixens return to Melbourne for round 4, hosting the GIANTS on Sunday, 23 May at John Cain Arena. Tickets are on sale through Ticketek.