Round 11: Vixens vs Swifts

Match Day Guide

🦊 Round 11: Vixens vs Swifts Match Day Guide

Match Report | Vixens vs Lightning

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4 weeks ago

The Melbourne Vixens have suffered their first loss of the season, going down to Sunshine Coast Lightning by seven goals at John Cain Arena on Wurundjeri Country on Saturday.

A sold-out stadium couldn’t get their side over the line as the Vixens faced former co-captain Liz Watson for the first time in her new colours.

The tone was set from the first centre pass, and nothing seemed to click for the Vixens from there on in.

Q1 | Vixens 19–14 Lightning

A shaky start from the Vixens had Lightning leading early, with the first six goals unanswered. A quick time out was called by Simone McKinnis with the message ‘get back to basics’ - a reset was needed.

With stalwart wing defence Kate Eddy sidelined with a leg injury it was left to Rudi Ellis to line up against Watson. While Ellis had the armspan over Watson, it wasn’t enough to stop her impact.

In the circle, Jo Weston’s body on body defence had Steph Fretwell uncomfortable and irritated, setting up a feisty contest for the match, while Mannix was Mannix-ing with two deflections, two gains and an intercept to her name.

Q2 | Vixens 30–34 Lightning

Lightning came out with another dominant start, leading the quarter 5-0 early. They maintained the lead and control, with the majority (58%) of time in possession for the quarter.

Lightning’s defensive pressure got the better of the Vixens, and their gains to goal rate sat at 86%, trumping the Vixens’ 20%.

Clearly frustrated and attempting to work themselves back into the contest, each Vixen recorded a contact, with the team racking up 23-9 penalties for the quarter.

Q3 | Vixens 45–48 Lightning

Changes were made at the main break which saw Ellis move into GK, Mannix out into GD and Weston into WD.

With a bit of momentum going Lightning’s way, McKinnis called a time out to reiterate her halftime message. The defenders were called to keep on their toes and pounce at any opportunity that came their way.

Stats across the board were relatively even for the term, but the Vixens came out winning the quarter by one.

Q4 | Vixens 57–64 Lightning

A big final quarter was needed from the Vixens, but unfortunately they weren’t able to get the job done.

Gabby Coffey stepped out on court in the WD bib with Mannix in GK and Weston in GD, while in the midcourt Hannah Mundy and Kate Moloney made a switch. The fresh legs and positional swaps injected some electricity into the side but was met with answers from the Lightning, who managed to draw out their margin to 11 goals.

“This is not good enough” was the final message from captain Moloney whose timeout address spurred her team on, but not enough to get over the line – their run was left too late.


  • 113: Emily Mannix continues to impress, recording 113 Nissan Net Points – the highest of anyone on court. She finished with match with 10 gains, four intercepts and 10 deflections.
  • 94: The ball is safe in the hands of Sophie Garbin, who notched up 94% shooting accuracy tonight.


Head coach Simone McKinnis was disappointed in the team’s execution.

“It was disappointing. I just thought that some of our basic play and basic skills were a bit sloppy at times. Our starts for every quarter were quite poor so we’ll need to have a chat about that.”

“There were moments, but there were also moments where it was very clunky, hard work and we often made hard work for ourselves.”

“Super disappointing about today but you have to get onto the next one. Fever is probably one of the biggest challenges in the comp. You’ve got to be excited about it, you’ve got to get onto it, you can’t feel sorry for yourself with ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’, it’s like righto, next, let’s go.”


The Vixens travel to Perth next weekend to face an in-form West Coast Fever side in Round 7, from 4pm AEST on Sunday 26 May at RAC Arena.

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