The Melbourne Vixens have romped to a historic win as the 2013 trans-Tasman netball champions the Adelaide Thunderbirds fall to another defeat.
The Melbourne Vixens might have forced the lowest score in the history of the trans-Tasman competition, but their coach is still waiting for a four-quarter performance from her ladder-leading team.
The Vixens smashed reigning champions the Adelaide Thunderbirds at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena on Saturday, running out massive 38-goal winners and dominating the scoreboard 64-26.
Vixens coach Simone McKinnis was delighted with the all-court pressure of her team, but believes there are still areas for improvement.
“You would not have called that result at the start of the game, but I knew we were very focused on building on what we have done in the past three weeks, and doing it here at home,” she said.
While McKinnis said the performance was the Vixens’ best for the season, it wasn’t perfect.
“It was not four quarters. Still, I was blown away by the first quarter. In the first quarter, our statement was made and they continued to push that and that was impressive it,” she said.
The Vixens’ intent was obvious from the start of the match. Defenders Geva Mentor and Bianca Chatfield smothered the Thunderbirds at their attacking end, while the accuracy of the Thunderbirds faltered under pressure. Vixens goal shooters Karyn Bailey and Tegan Caldwell shot at 100 per cent early in the match.
The Thunderbirds’ Erin Bell couldn’t find her long-range prowess, and after the opening quarter Carla Borrego was benched. She returned later as a surprise goalkeeper in a bid to stop to Bailey, who would end the day with 34 goals from 36 attempts.
Since back-to-back losses in rounds three and four, the Vixens have won four consecutive games to stamp their authority on the season.
McKinnis said the team never panicked.
“We are just getting better at what we do and that was our focus from those losses,” she said. “There was never any panic. It was just what to we need to improve on from each game. It was identifying what we needed to do, how do we can better at what we do, and we have done that each game and got better each week, and that has to continue from here on.”
After winning their opening three games of the season, the Thunderbirds have lost the past four. Next week is a must-win game for the reigning champions if they want a chance at defending their title.
However, it will be a difficult game because they travel to New Zealand to face Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, who sit second on the table.