The Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts have put on a performance for the sell-out crowd at Geelong Arena, finishing with a draw on the siren on Saturday.
The Vixens, missing Jo Weston and Liz Watson to the Commonwealth Games, managed to control the game for the most part. However, in a tight, physical match, the margin didn’t reach further than six goals.
Emma Ryde and Tegan Philip worked beautifully in the ring together, Ryde using her height and Philip her agility to make use of the feeds from Watts, Moloney and Honey throughout the game.
A welcome addition to the goal circle for the fans in the final quarter was Mwai Kumwenda. Fresh from her stint at the Commonwealth Games for her home country, Malawi, Kumwenda slotted back into the teal and pink nicely – a promising sign for the upcoming Suncorp Super Netball season.
The defensive half applied constant pressure to the Swifts, causing a few forced errors, and adapted to rotations and combinations as we prepare for round one against the Magpies in two weeks.
In that defensive half was Geelong local Emily Mannix making her return to the court after a bump to the head in February sidelined the defender from full pre-season training.
With a smile from ear to ear, Mannix was pleased to get a game under her belt.
“It was great to get out there and play against another Suncorp Super Netball team to see where I’m at. I was able to feature in three quarters, I’m so happy to be out there with the girls again,” said Mannix.
It’s been an interrupted pre-season for the squad, however, Mannix said the team is utilising their time together and while preparing in different programs – Vixens, Diamonds and Malawi – the team are on track for round one.
“We need to make use of the time we are all together so that come Round 1 and games like this, we can show what we’ve been working on.
“We’ve all been working so hard and it shows. Coming into games like this and being able to put it all together and go for it one hundred percent is really good for us. We can see where we stand in the lead up to Round 1.”
The focus for the Vixens now turns to that Round 1 game against Magpies Netball, with the three Commonwealth Games athletes in Jo Weston, Liz Watson and Mwai Kumwenda returning to training this week.
Tickets to the game at Hisense Arena on Saturday 28 April are available through Ticketek.