With just 14 days to go until the season begins, the Vixens’ final two pre-season matches are in the bank notching up two wins against the GIANTS in Sydney.
Former GIANT and new Vixens recruit Kiera Austin came up against her old side for the first time this weekend, taking the court in both matches for her first SSN-level hit outs since rupturing her ACL in Round 1 last year.
Kip’s smooth moves under the post, effortless dodges and centre-third defensive pressure were on full display, no doubt exciting the Vixens fans watching at Netball Central and via livestream on Saturday afternoon.
In a closed match on Friday night the Vixens took out a decisive 51-69 win, winning every quarter.
It was a physical clash from the first whistle, bodies hitting the floor as both sides took the opportunity to consolidate combinations they’ve been building across the pre-season.
While GIANTS star Sophie Dwyer showed off the shooting form that saw her sit second in the league for two-pointers last season, the Vixens’ tenacity in defence made her life difficult.
Emily Mannix continued her brilliant pre-season form, working with gun recruit Liv Lewis to collect plenty of deflections and intercepts, and showing off the versatility of their new combination with each spending time in goal defence and goal keeper.
Squad member Sharni Lambden impressed again with her strength and agility, the versatile midcourter having caught the eye of many Vixens fans when she starred against the Thunderbirds in Traralgon in February.
On Saturday the teams matched up for a second time, a fierce contest that saw the Vixens finish with a seven-goal victory.
The GIANTS came out of the blocks firing, leading for most of the first quarter before the Vixens worked their way to a four-goal lead at the first break.
It was all navy in the second as the Vixens steadied and built on their lead, before the GIANTS fought back in the third to bring a 10-goal margin back to four. It was goal for goal to begin the last quarter before the Vixens regrouped and ran it home.
Kate Moloney’s match-up with Jamie-Lee Price in the centre was a bruising encounter from the outset. Kate Eddy was consistent in wing defence, forcing turnovers and combining well with Jo Weston to transition the ball down court.
Weston and Mannix picked off plenty of ball with clean outside arms, their quick footwork and read of the game making life tough for the GIANTS shooters.
At the other end Rahni Samason was as composed as ever, putting out another display of well-timed drives around the top of the circle, re-feeds with the ever-reliable Liz Watson and confidence to post.
After missing the Team Girls Cup due to COVID protocols, Mwai Kumwenda held space strongly under the post and sank a couple of Super Shots under pressure, fed with precision by Watson and last year’s Rookie of the Year winner Hannah Mundy.
The Vixens’ Suncorp Super Netball campaign kicks off against the Queensland Firebirds at Nissan Arena in Brisbane on Sunday 27 March.
Our first home game will take place in Round 3 when we take on the GIANTS at John Cain Arena on Saturday 9 April – tickets are on sale for members now, and will be available to the general public from Wednesday 16 March via Ticketek.