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Round 11: Vixens vs Swifts

Match Day Guide

🦊 Round 11: Vixens vs Swifts Match Day Guide

Match Report | Fever vs Vixens

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3 weeks ago

The Melbourne Vixens have returned to the winners’ list, claiming an upset 11-goal win over the undefeated West Coast Fever at RAC Arena on Whadjuk Noongar Land on Sunday.

Last week's loss to Sunshine Coast Lightning proved motivation the Vixens used, determined to come home with the four points.

In control and measured seemed to be the plan for the Vixens, playing their own game and executing a clinical game plan to hold off the Fever in front of a hostile crowd. Coach Simone McKinnis backed in her starting seven to get the job done, not making a single change across 60 minutes of high intensity netball.

Kiera Austin was flawless, scoring 25 goals including four super shots and earning Player of the Match honours.

Q1 | Fever 22–19 Vixens

From the first whistle, the Vixens were settled, knowing exactly how they wanted to play and determined to deliver.

A change up from last week’s starting seven saw Jo Weston (2 intercepts, 2 deflections) take on the WD role alongside Emily Mannix in GD. Rudi Ellis (4 gains, 3 intercepts) had the task on Jhaniele Fowler-Nembhard and was the woman for the job, having spent the last two seasons training on her while at Fever.

Sophie Garbin (46/52 at 89%) got on the move, presenting herself as an option out of the circle and causing confusion for Fever defenders, her dynamic movement creating space for both herself and Austin to roam free.

Q2 | Fever 36–42 Vixens

The Vixens caught Fever napping after the first break, storming out with a 10-5 lead early and forcing the home side to call a timeout. The reset didn’t help the Fever, as the Vixens maintained control and managed to break away with a 23-14 quarter.

The attack line was confident with ball in hand, Hannah Mundy (37 feeds) and Kate Moloney (game-high 42 feeds and 114 NNP) injecting 27 feeds and working seamlessly with Austin and Garbin, who shot 14 from 14 in a powerhouse effort. The quartet is quickly becoming one of the most dominant attack lines in the league.

In defence the unit remained composed, taking on any opportunity at ball. Mannix (2 intercepts, 2 pickups) worked hard on Shanice Beckford who not only managed her first one-goal shot in the second quarter, but was forced off the court after racking up eight general play turnovers for the game.

Q3 | Fever 48–59 Vixens

Intensity lifted in the third quarter as Fever fought hard for any hope of getting back into the game. But the Vixens were assertive and took their chances in every third, not giving the home side an inch.

Chipping away across the court, the Vixens controlled their ball movement with purposeful possession and a calculated approach. Moloney delivered 15 feeds for the term, her connection with Garbin causing Fever all kinds of headaches as Garbin controlled the space, demanding the ball and making the most of her elevation.

Reflective of the full-court effort, the team managed five intercepts and five gains for the term to register a 17-12 quarter win. Ellis was outstanding with two gains at crucial moments, at Weston and Mannix worked relentlessly out the front to keep Fever's feeders off circle edge.

Q4 | Fever 65–76 Vixens

An 11-goal lead into the final term had the Vixens feeling almost too comfortable, slightly dropping their defensive pressure with their lead narrowing to six in the Power Five. But that’s nothing a rev up from captain Moloney couldn’t fix, and out of a timeout, the Vixens lifted their game and brought it home.

Garbin sealed the win with a moment of individual brilliance, the ball having flown up and down the court in the dying seconds; receiving a bomb from Mundy in the centre third just inside the circle, the in-form Diamond turned off balance and delivered a super shot on the buzzer to the delight of her teammates - the remarkable moment was her 1000th goal scored at national league level.

THE NUMBERS

  • 1000: Kiera Austin topped off an impressive Player of the Match game, hitting a milestone of 1000 national league goals in the same match as her teammate Sophie Garbin notched up the same achievement.
  • 22-13: Defensive pressure was elite, with Fever recording 22 general play turnovers to the Vixens’ 13 who looked in control of every possession.
  • 1: Whenever an opportunity presents itself, you know Jo Weston is going to take it and that’s exactly what she did in the second quarter with a signature shoulder wind up resulting in a goal assist.

THE COACH SAYS

Head coach Simone McKinnis was pleased with her side’s work rate in the face of an impressive opposition.

“(This win) means a lot to us. We were disappointed with last week obviously, and we knew the best way to bounce back from that was to come and beat the team that sits on top of the ladder that nobody has beaten yet. It was a focus for us, and I think we played one of our best games today at both ends of the court.”

“We had set some targets for ourselves in terms of conversion, centre pass and gained ball. One of the areas that we wanted to improve on was that ball skill and execution, and working the depth, the width and the punch down in attack. I thought our ball skills and ball movement was excellent. It’s important when you’re playing Fever, you can’t afford to give them too many opportunities.”

“I’m just super proud of the defence end – it’s one of the biggest tasks there is. They just threw themselves at it every step of the way. There was just that mindset of attacking, just going for everything, don’t hold back, play our game, be brave and fearless.”

NEXT UP

At the halfway mark of the season, the Vixens return home to face GIANTS Netball at John Cain Arena on Saturday 1 June. Tickets are selling fast with limited seats remaining.

Join the hunt with a 2024 Vixens membership

Book tickets for Vixens home games via Ticketek

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