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Round 8: Vixens vs GIANTS

Match Day Guide

🦊 Round 8: Vixens vs GIANTS Match Day Guide

Match Report | Swifts vs Vixens

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2 weeks ago

The Melbourne Vixens have extended their unbeaten run to five, defeating long-time rivals the NSW Swifts in a two-goal thriller with a clinical performance at Ken Rosewall Arena on Wangal Land on Sunday.

Players, team staff and umpires wore purple arm bands in a united stance against violence against women.

Kiera Austin earned player of the match honours, shooting 25 from 27 at 93% accuracy and delivering four pickups and two gains. Her movement and timing in combination with Sophie Garbin was exceptional, creating space and maintaining composure in crucial moments.

Q1 | Swifts 14–15 Vixens

It was a scrappy start for both teams with multiple turnovers before each side settled.

Garbin (30 goals at 86%, 4 rebounds) offered stability and composure under the post, while Emily Mannix (7 gains, 4 deflections, 3 rebounds) continued her impressive form, using smart footwork to confuse the space for the Swifts’ feeders looking into Sam Wallace-Joseph.

Kate Moloney and Kate Eddy worked hard to tag the Swifts’ attack, building pressure around circle edge and teaming up to offer options on transition.

Well-timed movement and sharp connections from Garbin, Austin and Hannah Mundy built a four-goal lead, but Helen Housby’s accuracy from the super shot zone ate into the margin and the Vixens went into the first break leading by one.

Q2 | Swifts 30–31 Vixens

Jo Weston (3 intercepts, 4 pickups) was a workhorse in defence, partnering with Eddy and Mannix to contain Housby and ensure the Swifts were made to work for every ball.

Moloney (30 feeds, 3 pickups) and Eddy continued to be patient with ball in hand, giving their attack line time to work into space. The Swifts’ experienced defensive duo of Sarah Klau and Maddy Turner forced the Vixens to reset at times, but Mundy's sharp passing continued to open space and find her goalers in the circle.

The hosts managed to claw back the lead halfway through the term but after a Vixens time out, Austin capitalised on a turnover and consolidated with another goal to bring scores back to level.

The rest of the term was tightly contested, an offensive contact from Wallace-Joseph flooring Weston and allowing the Vixens to restore their lead to four. A flurry of super shots from both sides had the margin see-sawing, one on the buzzer from Housby tightening the margin back to a single goal at the main break.

Q3 | Swifts 47–47 Vixens

Austin remained composed, working the angles with Garbin to create space for each other, while Mundy (38 feeds, 2 intercepts, 1 deflection) was strong on second phase and slick passing saw the Vixens push the lead out to six before the Swifts called a time out.

Switching up their defence and bringing Elle Temu on to try to combat the Austin-Garbin combination, the Swifts steadied but couldn’t eat into the margin until super shot time.

A knock to the leg for Eddy saw Rudi Ellis come on from a time out with two minutes to go, pushing Mannix out to goal defence and Weston to wing defence. Five super shots from the Swifts for the quarter, including another buzzer beater, and scores were tied at the last break setting the scene for another thrilling finish.

Q4 | Swifts 59–61 Vixens

With Eddy out of action, another defensive shuffle saw Ellis moved out to wing defence, her reach creating pressure over the feed and offering height on the transverse line in attack. The experience of Weston and Moloney shone through as they adapted quickly to the change and took control through the centre third.

Weston was everywhere, pulling in an intercept and two pickups for the quarter and backing up on every loose ball as the Vixens pushed the lead back out to five in regular time, knowing the Swifts would fire in the final five minutes.

But Mannix stepped up yet again in the clutch moments, her defence of the super shot crucial as Fawns brought the margin back to one. With three minutes to go Mannix’s pressure saw Housby miss an attempt, and a rebound in the dying moments ultimately set up the win.

Austin was calm and clinical, sinking a super shot of her own, and her side maintained their composure, treasured possession and took the points in a tight finish to have one hand back on the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup.

THE NUMBERS

  • 13: Hannah Mundy delivered 13 feeds in each of the second and last quarters, her connection with goalers Austin and Garbin growing by the week. Mundy's clean drives to circle edge posed a tough challenge for defender Allie Smith, and her touch on the pass gives circle defenders little chance to contest.
  • 125.5: Sydney local Kiera Austin put on a show in front of her family and friends, racking up a game-high 125.5 Nissan Net Points and impressing with her timing and movement out the front of Garbin.

THE COACH SAYS

Head coach Simone McKinnis applauded the skill of the contest and her side’s decision-making in clutch moments.

“I was really impressed, I thought it was just such a good game and there was such skill on both sides. It was always going to come down to the end to decide it, and I enjoyed watching it… because I was just really impressed with the standards that they were maintaining out there.”

“Swifts were coming back and they always will… but that’s the nature of the game. To be able to have that composure, the focus is on us and to not get wound up in the crowd or the opposition, I thought [we] did that really well.”

NEXT UP

The Vixens return home to face Sunshine Coast Lightning at John Cain Arena on Saturday 18 May. Tickets are available now via Ticketek.

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