SSN R4: Vixens Vs Fever
The Melbourne Vixens are the last undefeated side in the league after defeating the West Coast Fever 75-66 in a top of the table Tuesday night clashThe armour-plated Melbourne Vixens have revealed their premiership quality in a stunning 75-66 Super Netball victory against West Coast Fever at Melbourne’s John Cain Arena.
West Coast Fever are a premium contender and perhaps any other team would have eventually caved in to their fierce all-court defence.
Yet not even Australia Diamonds star Courtney Bruce could make a dent in the Vixens who barrelled to the top of the table after their fourth consecutive win.
Statistically, little separated the Vixens from the second-placed Fever who were playing their third game of a gruelling three-match road trip.
Little by little, the Vixens, starting with midcourter Liz Watson (42 feeds), showed their class and grunt.
Goal attack Kiera Austin (29 goals at 82 per cent) was a first-half focal point and defender Jo Weston harassed three opponents out of the game.
The Vixens’ former Fever defender Olivia Lewis (four gains) came on as a substitute and kept West Coast goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler to just 15 second-half goals in her total of 48.
“That’s a very convincing win against a quality side so we’re happy with that,” Watson said.
“Olivia was great and obviously she’s trained against them for so long and she really added spark.”
The Fever’s Alice Teague-Neeld was gallant in her return from a two-game absence with COVID-19.
She started at wing attack and played with energy and daring before being swung into the shooting circle but could not do enough to unsettle the hosts.
The match lived up to its billing as the meeting of the premiership’s two premier teams over the first month.
Like home owners who’ve lost their keys, each outfit probed every opening, trying to find a way past two highly qualified defences.
It was the Vixens attack who first squeezed through the narrowest of cracks.
With most of the Fever’s attention on Mwai Kumwenda, Austin found space and sank perfect three-from-three super shots to haul the Vixens out to a nine-goal lead.
With multiple shooting options, the Vixens attack showed a little more polish and benefited from Rahni Samason’s impact off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Fever for the first time this season did not have an influential contribution from goal attack Sasha Glasgow.
Hounded out of the game by the Vixens’ defence, Glasgow was kept on the periphery as Fowler added 41 of the side’s 46 goals to three-quarter time.