It was the Vixens first loss of the season and despite leading for the majority of the first three quarters, it was a 16-11 final term that saw the Firebirds take the win.

The Firebirds had lost both their meetings to the Vixens last season. 

"I thought we had a good start to the game but I thought we gradually dropped off each quarter," McKinnis said.

"I felt that the pressure and work rate of the Firebirds were superior to us in the end," she added.

The game saw the return of Australian Diamonds Jo Weston, who suffered an ankle injury in round two, for the Vixens and Laura Geitz also returned for the Firebirds after overcoming a back complaint.

It was a defensive game between the two side as the soaring penalty account leading to contact and frustration but it was the Vixens who were able to deal with it early on.

Despite winning the match, the Firebirds attack had a lower shooting accuracy compared to the Vixens but more chances were being created from the Queenslanders.

"There never is anything easy about playing the Firebirds but I think that we got hesitant, we hung onto the ball instead of letting it go and against the Firebirds, you have to score off every ball you get and I think we through to much of that away," McKinnis said.