A desperate hunger to win was not enough motivation for the Melbourne Vixens who have been defeated by the Adelaide Thunderbirds for the second time this year, tonight by nine points, 59-50.
With only two games left in the season, and the opportunity to jump up from the bottom of the ladder, the Vixens’ pride was on the line leading into this final week.
Hoping to be spurred on by the milestones of now centurion, Jo Weston and 50-gamer, Kate Eddy, the team just couldn’t quite give them the celebration they deserved.
The first half showed promising signs, with Eddy, Mannix and Weston working like machines to keep the Thunderbirds’ attack end feeling uneasy. They maintained this defensive pressure for the entire match, but the lack of conversion is what lost it in the end.
A run of super shots from MJ and the injection of Ruby into the game offered glimmers of hope, however it was all too late for the Vixens who had let the Thunderbirds’ lead reach 14 goals in the third quarter.
Head coach Simone McKinnis couldn’t hide her disappointment in the performance tonight.
“I think we had a reasonably good start to the game, but I think again there were too many costly errors and you’re not going to win games when you’re giving the ball back to your opposition,” said McKinnis.
“I think it’s maintaining that work rate that’s required. In attack, it’s that first half. It’s the work rate, the change of direction, the offer, the reoffer – that really dropped off and the intensity in attack.
“I think our scoring off gained ball was pretty low, so we just need to be better at scoring off those opportunities and our own centre passes.”
With one game left, attention will quickly turn to reflection and redemption as preparation for next season soon begins.
“I think that the results (this year) give the offseason a spark because we’ll have players that are desperately wanting to make amends for a disappointing season.
With one final game to go before the Vixens can put their 2021 season behind them, the team now looks to the Firebirds, who the Vixens managed to defeat earlier this year.
The game will again be played behind closed doors as Queensland’s lockdown remains in place until Sunday.
Fans can watch live on Telstra TV and the Netball Live app on Wednesday from 6.30pm.