The Melbourne Vixens have gone down to the Ascot Park Southern Steel, 65-56 in Round 13 of the ANZ Championship at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill, New Zealand.
Karyn Bailey 13/15 (87%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 23/27 (85%)
Kim Commane 4/5 (80%)
Emma Ryde 16/23 (70%)
Jhaniele Fowler-Reid 49/54 (91%)
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 16/19 (84%)
The Vixens showed plenty of fight throughout the match, but failed to capatalise on their chances in attack and apply scoreboard pressure.
Despite the loss, Captain Madi Robinson said the Vixens could take plenty of positives from the match.
“I know the nine points on the scoreboard doesn’t show how physical and tough it was out there, but I think our ball speed and our defensive pressure is there, we just need to capitalise on the opportunities when we get them,” Robinson said, adding: “Some of our youngsters also showed a bit with Emma Ryde coming on and standing up in the goal circle.”
After losing Karyn Bailey in the second quarter, 20-year-old Alice Teague-Neeld was another who stood up under pressure.
“I think Alice is growing every single game and it’s great to see in this back end of the season her lifting up another level and stepping her authority in that Goal Attack position - it’s great to have her out there on court,” Robinson said.
After conceding the first two goals of the game, the Vixens slowly worked into the contest with Teague-Neeld opening the scoring after two minutes.
The Steel established a four-goal lead midway through the first quarter before the Vixens reduced the margin to trail 18-16 at quarter time.
The Vixens were forced into making a change early in the second quarter, with Kim Commane replacing Karyn Bailey at Goal Shooter, who left the court with knee soreness.
Teague-Neeld stepped up in her absence to keep the Vixens in the contest, while Robinson, Liz Watson and Kate Moloney did a great job of applying pressure in the mid-court.
The Vixens went into halftime down 33-29.
The Steel came out firing in the third quarter, with the attacking combination of Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and Te Paea Selby-Rickit providing plenty of headaches for the Vixens defence. Combined with some expert feeds from Centre Shannon Francois the Steel extended their lead to 10 goals.
The substitution of Emma Ryde into the game to replace Kim Commane brought the Vixens back into the contest, giving them a tall target to aim for in their attacking circle. Ryde had an instant impact, helping reduce the margin to seven goals at the final break.
The Vixens made another change in the final term with Chloe Watson replacing Jo Weston at Goal Defence but it was to no avail, the Vixens ultimately going down by nine goals.
The Vixens will fly back to Melbourne before returning to New Zealand to take on the Central Pulse in Round 14 of the ANZ Championship on Monday 4 July at 5:30pm AEST.
Melbourne Vixens' squad v Southern Steel
Saturday 25 June 2016, ILT Stadium Southland
Karyn Bailey (GS)
Alice Teague-Neeld (GA)
Madi Robinson (WA) (Captain)
Liz Watson (C)
Kate Moloney (WD)
Jo Weston (GD)
Geva Mentor (GK)
Did Not Play
Fixtures & Results
Sunday 3 April: Vixens v Swifts, Sydney, NSW [42-57 Swifts]
Sunday 10 April: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Adelaide, SA [59-44 Vixens]
Saturday 16 April: Vixens v Firebirds, Melbourne, VIC [47-58 Firebirds]
Sunday 1 May: Vixens v Magic, Melbourne, VIC [57-34 Vixens]
Monday 9 May: Vixens v Tactix, Christchurch, NZL [69-48 Vixens]
Sunday 15 May: Vixens v Swifts, Melbourne, VIC [51-59 Swifts]
Saturday 21 May: Vixens v Fever, Perth, WA [54-53 Vixens]
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC [57-51 Vixens]
Saturday 4 June: Vixens v Firebirds, Gold Coast, QLD [44-56 Firebirds]
Sunday 12 June: Vixens v Mystics, Melbourne, VIC [69-46 Vixens]
Sunday 19 June: Vixens v Fever, Melbourne, VIC [60-55 Vixens]
Saturday 25 June: Vixens v Steel, Invercargill, NZL [65-56 Steel]
Monday 4 July: Vixens v Pulse, Wellington, NZL
Follow the team's results on Twitter by following @MelbourneVixens and using #PowerTogether.