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Round 11: Vixens vs Swifts

Match Day Guide

🦊 Round 11: Vixens vs Swifts Match Day Guide

Match Report | Vixens vs Mavericks

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1 week ago

The Melbourne Vixens have stamped their authority on John Cain Arena, defeating newcomers the Mavericks by a resounding 19 goals (77-58) in front of a packed house on Wurundjeri Country on Monday.

Gunning for local bragging rights, the stage was set for a fierce Round 9 battle in the newly-named Melbourne Match-Up and despite a tightly contested first half, the home side’s finals-ready performance didn’t disappoint.

A crowd of 9022 fans packed the stadium, breaking the Vixens’ record for biggest regular season crowd.

Q1 | Vixens 18–18 Mavericks

The match opened to a red-hot start from the Mavericks, with early gains from Liv Lewis seeing them grab the lead. The Vixens replied through the reach and agility of Rudi Ellis in goal keeper, her two deflections on the high ball into Shimona Jok setting up a tantalising battle.

Hannah Mundy (33 feeds) and Kiera Austin (16/19, 84% accuracy) shared the load across the transverse line in attack, smoothly alternating between first and second phase, and the Vixens locked up the quarter with the help of two super shots from Austin.

Q2 | Vixens 37–32 Mavericks

Sophie Garbin (51/56, 91% accuracy) outmuscled fellow West Australian Lewis, her timing and elevation forcing changes in the desperate, often-penalised Mavs defence with Kristiana Manu’a coming on in an attempt to combat Garbin's movement in the circle.

Emily Mannix (2 intercepts, 3 deflections) and Ellis (3 intercepts, 5 deflections, 2 pickups) owned the defensive third, Mannix and Jo Weston's tagging pressure giving Ellis the freedom to contest in the air. The trio forced seven turnovers to set up the Vixens’ five-goal run midway through the quarter, and enter the second half in control.

Q3 | Vixens 58–46 Mavericks

Again, a reshuffled Mavs defence took the court with Lewis grabbing some early wins back at goal keeper. In response, the Vixens wore down their opponents and pressed on with their trademark dynamic movement and slick passing in attack.

The midcourt lineup of birthday girl Mundy (26 feeds), skipper Kate Moloney (33 feeds, 3 deflections, 2 pickups) and Weston in her new position of wing defence (3 pickups, 1 deflection, 1 goal assist) was steady on transition, delivering smoothly into the circle for a rock-solid Garbin.

The contest between player of the match Austin and Kim Jenner was a spectacle throughout, but the goal attack ultimately prevailed, with an intercept, a handful of silky feeds, and a super shot on the buzzer.

Q4 | Vixens 77–58 Mavericks

The Vixens surged ahead with a perfect start to the quarter, connections humming in attack save for an out-of-character miss from under the post by Austin. Moloney continued to deliver through the middle, racking up nine feeds and two deflections for the quarter.

Ellis lit up the defence with a Laura Geitz-like hunting intercept, encouraging Mannix to go on the fly as well. The fun was short-lived as Ellis was later helped off the court after an awkward fall. Young gun Lily Graham rolled on in the final minutes to score the first super shot of her career, sealing a significant win for the Vixens.

THE NUMBERS

  • 51: Sophie Garbin shot 51 from 56 attempts at 91 per cent accuracy, proving the ever-reliable target in attack. The goal shooter also picked up an intercept, but perhaps her biggest wins were the six positional changes made by her opposition.
  • 9022: The Vixens played in front of a sold-out crowd, breaking the club’s highest attendance record for a regular season match.
  • 1: Today’s win sees the Vixens earn their place atop the Super Netball ladder, four points clear of West Coast Fever.

THE COACH SAYS

Head coach Simone McKinnis was pleased with her side’s work rate and control in such a physical contest.

“I thought it was a really tough, hard struggle in the first half, but I was really pleased that when the opportunities and the openings came in the third and fourth that we really went for it. So I thought that was really positive.”

She also said she was unsurprised by the Vixens’ dominance in Super Netball despite losing some big names to rival clubs.

“I’m not surprised. I just know how players like Jo [Weston] who have been here for a while, they just set amazing standards for those new players that come in. Whether it’s Lily, Sophie or Kip, there’s great experience and standards in the club and I just know how much they work day in, day out … And there's nothing to lose. You’ve just got to go out and have a go.”

NEXT UP

The Vixens hit the road again for Round 10, heading north to take on former co-captain Liz Watson’s Sunshine Coast Lightning at UniSC Arena on Saturday 15 June.

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