The Melbourne Vixens’ final week of their 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season has started off on the wrong foot, going down to the Giants by nine points in their round 12 match.
Desperate to give their fans something to cheer about from home, and to finish the season off with that Vixens pride, the team was unable to match the Giants, who were playing for percentage and top spot.
On paper, the Vixens did well to keep the Giants’ lead to within reach for the first half. Despite a competitive streak straight after the main break, a timeout early in the third quarter to the Giants stopped the Vixens' momentum and set up the Giants for the rest of the game.
The defensive pressure was elite from Moloney back to Mannix, causing the Giants to reset a few times in an attempt to break through. However, way too many turnovers were not rewarded at the other end as we struggled to convert in the circle, with an overall shooting percentage of 71%.
Head coach Simone McKinnis was disappointed in the result - one she has seen too many times this season.
“Every time there’s a loss it’s super disappointing, but only we can make that different,” said McKinnis.
“I think there are certainly moments, but I can’t be comfortable with where we’re at and what it looks like at the moment, and I never will be. I just want to be walking away at the end of this season with some pride in what we’ve put out there on court.
McKinnis said there are no excuses for the way the Vixens have been playing, and hopes to see a turnaround for the final two games.
“I thought our basic execution just let us down at different times, even just pulling balls in. It’s a tough competition, body on body, but you’ve got to be able to pull those balls in. You’ve got to be able to deliver the right pass and the right time.
“We’ve got players that are used to success, and that’s really challenging for them, but it’s also about acknowledging some of your biggest learnings and how you handle it yourself, and how you handle challenging situations are a real test of your true character.
“We’ve got two games to play, and we’ve got the opportunity to play out this season in the best possible way for our fans, for our supporters, for the club and for our own self-respect, so that should be motivation enough.”
With only two games to go, the Vixens have a week to redeem themselves, and finish off their season with their heads held high.
They’ll face the Thunderbirds on Monday, and Firebirds on Wednesday, with both games played at Nissan Arena in Brisbane, and broadcast live on Telstra TV and the Netball Live app.