The Melbourne Vixens have proven they’re firmly in the premiership race with a 66-57 Round 9 Super Netball win against GIANTS Netball.
The visiting Vixens were back to their devastating best from the outset, picking up where they left off in the second half against the Queensland Firebirds last week and blowing the GIANTS away before half-time.
Vixens goal keeper Emily Mannix made all kinds of statements after missing out on Australian Diamonds selection, racking up a staggering nine intercepts, including four in the first quarter.
Goal shooter and Nissan MVP Caitlin Thwaites was also back to her best, potting 40 goals from 42 attempts, courtesy of silver service from wing attack Liz Watson, who fed the goal circle 45 times.
Some of the GIANTS most senior figures spent time on the bench at different stages with coach Julie Fitzgerald using a number of different line-ups which saw Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett, England superstar Jo Harten and GIANTS captain Kim Green all on the sidelines at different stages.
The GIANTS were in the contest throughout most of the opening quarter, but a seven-goal Vixens run saw them take a 19-11 lead into the first break, and from there they were never headed.
The introduction of Kiera Austin into goal attack for the GIANTS did little to alter the momentum, with the Vixens’ lead quickly blowing out to double digits, hitting 12 by half-time as the Vixens led 36-24.
It took until halfway through the third quarter before the GIANTS finally clicked, cutting the margin to 10 goals and prompting a Vixens timeout.
The GIANTS swung the changes again in a bid to turn things in their favour, bringing Bassett back on in place of Harten, but the changes had little effect, with the Vixens sparking another seven-goal run to extend their advantage to 17.
The GIANTS finally found something in the last 15 minutes, claiming a solitary bonus point with a 19-14 quarter, but the Vixens were still able to cruise to a comfortable victory that keeps them in touch with the top two.
The competition will now break for five weeks for the World Cup with Caitlin Bassett and Jamie-Lee Price representing Australia and Jo Harten the English Roses. The GIANTS’ next game is on July 28 in Melbourne against the Collingwood Magpies.
Q1: GIANTS 11 v Vixens 19
Q2: GIANTS 13 v Vixens 17
Q3: GIANTS 14 v Vixens 16
Q4: GIANTS 19 v Vixens 14
Suncorp Super Netball Premiership Points
GIANTS – 1
Vixens – 7
Nissan Player of The Match – Caitlin Thwaites (Vixens)
GIANTS shooting statistics – 57/63 (90.5%)
Caitlin Bassett – 20/22 (90.09%)
Jo Harten – 24/27 (88.9%)
Kiera Austin – 13/14 (92.9%)
Vixens shooting statistics – 66/71 (93%)
Caitlin Thwaites – 40/42 (95.2%)
Tegan Philip – 26/29 (89.7%)
GIANTS starting seven: GS – Caitlin Bassett, GA – Jo Harten, WA – Kim Green, C – Jamie-Lee Price, WD – Amy Parmenter, GD – Kristiana Manu’a, GK – Sam Poolman
Vixens starting seven: GS – Caitlin Thwaites, GA – Tegan Philip, WA – Liz Watson, C – Kate Moloney, WD – Renae Ingles, GD – Jo Weston, GK – Emily Mannix