The Vixens returned to John Cain Arena and claimed an emphatic 72-60 victory over the Queensland Firebirds.
Putting on a clinic in the second half after a rocky second term, the Vixens scored 45 goals to soar to another win in front of a roaring home crowd.
Q1 | Vixens 17 - 15 Firebirds
The Vixens shook up the starting seven in Kate Eddy’s absence, with Jo Weston moving into wing defence and Emily Mannix into goal defence, while Olivia Lewis kept the position of goal keeper after a stellar performance last week. It was a shaky start from both sides with a few early turnovers, but the Vixens quickly settled. Defensive pressure was high once again from the girls in navy; a held ball against the Firebirds gave the Vixens the opportunity to take the lead, and Kiera Austin consolidated that chance. MJ’s aerial skills were put to the test by Firebirds keeper Remi Kamo, but she stood tall against the pressure. The Firebirds had two super shot attempts, but Liv Lewis snagged the rebounds to ensure we kept the lead at quarter time.
Q2 | Vixens 27 - 32 Firebirds
An early turnover brought the Firebirds back into the match, but the Vixens weren’t going to take the pressure off. Quickly muscling back possession, they broke away to a four goal lead. Deflections were flavour of the day in the first five minutes, with both teams desperately chasing after loose balls. The Firebirds connection was impressive, as centre Macy Gardner often found smooth passage to Diamonds goaler Donnell Wallam. Kim Borger made her way onto court to replace Kip at goal attack, but momentum had already begun to shift the Queenslanders’ way, and by half time they had wrestled back a five-goal lead.
Q3 | Vixens 47 - 46 Firebirds
The Vixens shuffled the positions for the second half, with Kate moving to wing defence, Liz to centre, Jo to goal defence and Hannah Mundy coming on as wing attack. The Firebirds wasted no time extending their lead, converting the first two centre passes. Liv found her elevation midway through the quarter, and her hard work paid off as she claimed two crucial intercepts to kickstart the Vixens’ comeback. Kip showed off her defensive prowess in the centre third, snagging another intercept to reduce the margin to four goals. Jo and Hannah joined in by causing turnovers of their own, while Liv put on a spectacular effort to chase down a loose ball. Two super shots saw the Vixens’ grit rewarded, and they headed into the final break back in the lead after scoring an incredible 20 goals for the term.
Q4 | Vixens 72 - 60 Firebirds
Hannah shot out of the blocks to begin the fourth quarter, her relentless drives and rocket arm finding MJ under the post twice in the first few minutes. The Vixens broke away after an early intercept from Jo, extending the lead to six goals with ten minutes on the clock. MJ continued to star in the air, while Liz danced around circle edge and delivered impeccable feeds to give the goalers the best chance she could. With the clock ticking down, Jo grabbed an important rebound to keep momentum with the Vixens. Staying cool, calm and collected, the Vixens never gave the Firebirds the chance to re-enter the contest. They finished the match with an impressive 12-goal victory in front of over 7,000 fans.
THE COACH SAYS
Simone was happy with how her defenders adapted to the late change, and is optimistic about the second half of the Vixens’ season.
“I was really happy with the defensive work in the first half. There was some great defensive work, it’s just that relentless pressure that you’ve got to put on.”
“It was a really solid win in the end and I think we’ve got to use that as a springboard heading into the back half of the season.”
The Vixens are back at John Cain Arena for the inaugural SSN Inclusion Round, playing host to the West Coast Fever on Sunday 7 May at 2pm.
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