The Melbourne Vixens have proven to the netball world why they are still the best Victorian team in Suncorp Super Netball, defeating their cross-town rivals, the Collingwood Magpies, 62-49 in an absolute dominant performance.
The Vixens played in front of a full State Netball & Hockey Centre and looked in control from the first centre pass, finishing with a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Vixens head coach, Simone McKinnis OAM was thrilled with the result and proud of the team’s performance today.
“There was no logic to it. Defensively we really had to lift our pressure all over the court and just get that movement and be able to read it really well,” McKinnis said.
“It’s just hitting that court with fight and purpose and intensity, and we did that really well.
“Bottom line is, at the start of the week, we thought, we’re in finals, we’re going for it, and we did.
“Certainly, last week was tough, but when I woke up on the Monday, I was excited, and I was thinking there is a way, and we can do it, and I felt that all week.
“I knew before the game this morning that they were going to come out and give it everything they’ve got and it’s going to be good.
Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip were outstanding in the goal circle, with Philip finishing with 29/36 (80%) and an intercept, while Thwaites kept Geva Mentor quiet, shooting 29/33 (88%).
With a focus on the attacking structure this week, Liz Watson, Kate Moloney and Renae Ingles stepped it up early in the game, leading their team beautifully down the court. Moloney was Nissan’s Player of the Match, having an impact on the game with 17 goal assists, 22 feeds, and two pick-ups.
“We’ve worked hard on our attack all week and it was definitely more sharp today.”
“We focused on general defence, whether that be from the WA and GA on their WD, because they just moved the ball too easy last week. Certainly, that defence is on the centre pass, and that pressure all over the court.”
Jo Weston and Emily Mannix were outstanding all day, with 6 intercepts and 8 gained balls between them. Their dynamic movement and cohesive switches proved too difficult for Nat Medhurst and Shimona Nelson.
In the final moments of the last quarter, Mwai Kumwenda and Lara Dunkley gave Thwaites and Moloney a rest, jumping on court to provide their team some extra legs and exposure on the big stage.
Looking ahead to next week, McKinnis is hopeful that the game will be different to the those played in the regular season.
“Each time we’ve played the Swifts, they’ve come off a loss to the Lightning, so they are always ready to go. But the season now is irrelevant.”
“I just think that it’s a fantastic challenge and we’ll love nothing more than to go up to Sydney and give a really good show.”
“We’ll pull out what we need to from this, the good and the not so good, because there’s still areas we want to improve on, but then we really need to look at that game and their recent games and come up with a game plan heading into next weekend.
“We’ll enjoy this first though.”
The Vixens will head to Sydney next weekend to take on the NSW Swifts on Sunday 8 September at 1pm at the Quaycentre.
Tickets will be made available tomorrow for Vixens members at 10am, with a maximum of 4 tickets available per barcode. Members, check your emails for all the information that you need.
You can watch live on Channel 9 and the Netball Live App on Sunday.