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Round 8: Vixens vs GIANTS

Match Day Guide

🦊 Round 8: Vixens vs GIANTS Match Day Guide

Match Report | Vixens vs Firebirds

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3 weeks ago

The Melbourne Vixens celebrated Inclusion Round in style, defeating the Queensland Firebirds by 13 goals at John Cain Arena on Wurundjeri Country on Sunday.

A crowd of more than 8,600 fans turned out in support of Suncorp Super Netball’s Inclusion Round, where activity and celebrations were happening all around the arena, on and off court.

The Vixens rose to the occasion, with effort down the court executed to combat the Firebirds' tall target of Donnell Wallam. Attack on the ball and persistent contesting had the Vixens in control of the match, despite a fade in the third quarter.

Hannah Mundy put on an outstanding performance to be named Player of the Match, racking up 34 feeds and 23 centre pass receives, and contesting in defence down court.

Q1 | Vixens 15–13 Firebirds

With Zara Walters a late out, Mundy reclaimed her spot in the starting seven and impressed early as an option for Kate Moloney, Sophie Garbin and Kiera Austin on circle edge. She managed eight feeds, four centre pass receives, and five second phase receives for the quarter.

In the circle, Garbin and Austin were claiming their territory, creating space and using speed and timing to their advantage against the Firebirds' defenders.

Emily Mannix was doing her best to find the right position against Wallam, and while the connection between the Firebirds’ midcourt and goalers was impressive, the star defender who is in arguably career-best form managed three deflections and a pickup early, contributing to the Vixens' two-goal lead at the first break.

Q2 | Vixens 35–25 Firebirds

Connections were humming in the second quarter as the Vixens found momentum, taking their lead out to 12 at one stage. Garbin delivered 12 from 13 and a super shot in a dominant 15 minutes, contributing to her game-high 49 goals at 86% accuracy.

Down the court, the Vixens’ one-on-one defence caused havoc for the Firebirds who were forced to make positional changes to stop the Vixens’ run.

Kate Eddy (3 intercepts, 3 gains, 2 pickups) was phenomenal in WD with her defensive pressure tight, and then presenting as an option for the attackers as the Vixens worked the ball on transition. Eddy and Moloney managed business out the front of Mannix and Jo Weston, who worked their space to confuse the Firebirds' attack end.

Q3 | Vixens 49–42 Firebirds

Both teams came out of the main break having spoken to the umpires about physical elements of each other’s games. While attention was drawn to some players from then on, there was no spike in penalties from either side.

Errors from the Vixens opened up a run for the Firebirds who managed six goals unanswered, causing Simone McKinnis to call in her troops for a time out. The message to her players was to do the work behind the play, not just when they’re in possession.

Rudi Ellis took to the court during the third quarter, giving Mannix a well-earned break and injecting fresh legs into the circle.

Garbin was in control of the goal third with eyes down the court, directing play for the attackers and creating space in the circle, her elevation on display against the impressive hops of Remi Kamo.

The Firebirds found their groove in the third, winning the quarter by three, however a shot from Austin on the siren pushed the Vixens' lead out to seven and boosted confidence going into the final quarter.

Q4 | Vixens 68–55 Firebirds

A third quarter lull was motivation enough, with the Vixens coming out in the final term with a point to prove.

The time (read: hours) Mundy and Garbin put into making TikToks together has paid off and translated to magic on the court. The connection between the two was slick and quick, as if they’ve been playing together for years.

Eddy continued to make things as hard as possible for the Firebirds, leading the charge in the entire team’s full-court pressure and offering a steady option in clutch moments.

Costly mistakes from the Firebirds gave Vixens the chance to capitalise and push the lead out, resulting in a 13-goal win at home.

THE NUMBERS

  • 23: 23 was Player of the Match, Hannah Mundy’s lucky number today, recording 23 goal assists and 23 centre pass receives on the score card. Mundy returned to the side from injury last week, playing a half against the GIANTS, and with fresh legs this week, she finished the game with 92 Nissan Net Points, 34 feeds and four pickups to her name.
  • 8: Weston's tagging-style defence was on show throughout the match, allowing her to rack up seven gains, three intercepts and four deflections in a clean performance with just eight penalties to her name.
  • 8,639: A massive crowd of 8,639 packed out John Cain Arena, lifting the Vixens to their fourth win of the season.

THE COACH SAYS

Head coach Simone McKinnis praised her team’s effort and composure.

“I thought there was some great stuff out there tonight, defensively and with the ball. 13 goals at the end of the game, I’m pleased with that.”

“They certainly came out with real intensity (in the third quarter) about what they were doing defensively, and it took us a little while to adjust to that, but we did and I’m really pleased that we managed to find a way out of that because they were really quite threatening for a while there.”

“It’s incredibly important to be able to put on that pressure, take on responsibility and accountability to help your teammates out every time.”

“I thought (Hannah Mundy) was brilliant. There were great drives, and space awareness. I thought she was outstanding.”

“(Sophie Garbin) is so reliable, so composed. I’ve been super impressed and I’m just so happy to have her.”

“I knew from the way everybody attacked pre-season and worked well together, that it was going to be a great group. I loved the way that players like Zara, their first time, who are just jumping straight in, taking it in their stride and working hard for everything. I’m just really impressed with the work that they’ve done to create what they have as a team and to see them out there performing.”

NEXT UP

The Vixens head back to Sydney to face old rivals the NSW Swifts in Round 5, at 2pm on Sunday 12 May at Ken Rosewall Arena.

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