Melbourne Vixens claimed their first win on home soil in 2022 defeating GIANTS Netball 64-52 at John Cain Arena in Heritage Round.
Coming up against her old side for the first time, star recruit Kiera Austin was a standout in attack nailing 24 goals.
It was close to start the opening term with neither side relenting on their attacking pressure. Mwai Kumwenda (37 from 41) dazzled with her athleticism, the home crowd helping to spur on the Vixens as player of the match Jo Weston and Emily Mannix stepped up to deliver some well-timed intercepts.
Holding a one-goal lead at quarter time the Vixens worked in overdrive to build their margin to six heading into half time. Kate Eddy created plenty of defensive turnovers while Jo Harten stood strong inside the goal circle for the GIANTS to keep the scoreboard ticking along.
After a strong opening half, the Vixens remained unchanged with Liz Watson marshalling the troops in attack and Kate Moloney putting in the hard yards against Jamie-Lee Price.
Defensively Eddy and Mannix turned up the heat while Austin solidified her role in goal attack, withstanding the physicality of April Brandley as the Vixens maintained their six-goal lead at the final break.
The movement in the circle between Austin and Kumwenda kept Brandley and Tilly McDonell on the back foot, as the Vixens duo pushed on to secure their side's third straight win of the season.
Head coach Simone McKinnis was pleased by the performance of her side, particularly Austin who played her first full SSN game since rupturing her ACL in Round 1 last year.
“I think we did a good job just sticking to our game, our workrate was good and that’s what it’s about, improvement each week,” she said.
“I thought she did super well, it’s her first full game of Super Netball since last season. She creates space, she has great smarts and I think that’s another really great step for Kiera.”
It’s a quick turnaround to Round 4 with the Vixens taking on West Coast Fever at John Cain Arena in four days’ time, on Tuesday 12 April. Tickets are available now via Ticketek.
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