SSN R3: Vixens Vs Giants
Vixens impress in home opener.
Austin and Weston shine as Melbourne Vixens remain undefeated through three rounds after knocking off the GIANTS in an impressive 64-52 win at John Cain Arena.
The Melbourne Vixens have extended their unbeaten start to the Super Netball season with a 64-52 win over the GIANTS as new recruit Kiera Austin played a starring role against her former club.
Last season’s wooden spooners charged home in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s clash at John Cain Arena to back up two impressive away victories and eclipse their win total (2) from a horror 2021 campaign.
The 24-year-old Austin signed with the Vixens after spending four seasons with the Giants and was a key player in just her third game since rupturing her ACL in last season’s opening round.
Austin made all seven shots in the second quarter, including two super shots, and produced a key deflection to help the home side build a six-point halftime lead before going on to complete a full game for the first time with her new club.
“I think there was a bit of added fire coming back and playing against my old team so I think I was lucky that I kind of knew the structures a little bit,” Austin told Fox Netball after finishing with 26 points, 13 goal assists and two deflections resulting in a gain.
“It was nice to get a full SSN game back under my belt. That was the most comfortable I’ve felt in a very long time.”
The Giants (1-2) welcomed back Jamie-Lee Price, Sophie Dwyer and Amy Parmenter after the Diamonds trio missed round two due to COVID-19 protocols but the visitors struggled to keep pace with the Vixens in the final quarter.
A pair of intercepts from Jo Weston handed Melbourne the early ascendency as they established a 10-6 lead but the Giants steadied with Jo Harten’s super shot helping reduce the Vixens’ quarter-time advantage to 17-16.
With Austin and Kate Eddy imposing themselves on the contest, Melbourne dominated the second quarter to head into the main break ahead 33-27, Weston credited with five of the Vixens’ 11 gains for the half.
Melbourne threatened to extend their lead into double-digits on two occasions in the third quarter but Dwyer intervened by scoring 10 of the Giants’ 13 points for the term as the Vixens went into the final period ahead 46-40.
The physical nature of the game took its toll on the Giants as Melbourne pulled away in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 16 points before a late furry of two-point goals from Harten.