The Melbourne Vixens have kept their finals campaign alive after beating the Collingwood Magpies on Sunday’s minor semi-final at the State Netball Centre.
A disconnected Magpies line-up looked to be a different side from the one that claimed bragging rights in last weekend’s Melbourne Derby.
Whilst Collingwood appeared complacent after their recent victory, Melbourne paid homage to the netball adage of ‘learning more from a loss,’ and putting such learnings into action.
The Vixens made their winning intentions clear early, spectacularly doubling the Magpies’ score in the first quarter.
Collingwood failed to keep up with their opponents’ swift yet ruthless play, appearing increasingly disconnected as the game progressed.
Whilst the Vixens fed on the energy produced by an incredibly animated crowd, Collingwood looked placid, lacking the urgency required to claw back into the game.
Yet, much alike yesterday’s major semi-final, experience prevailed, ultimately proving the difference in such a high stakes match.
Vixens veterans Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Phillips impressively shared the load in the shooting circle, making defence incredibly problematic for the Magpies.
The shooters were supported by ‘Player of the Match’ Kate Moloney, amassing 17 goal assists, and setting the game’s physical tone.
“To get the win was absolutely amazing,” Moloney said post-match.
“We knew we had to bring it, Collingwood taught us a few lessons last week
“All our girls all over the court played outstanding.”
Whilst the Magpies briefly began to lift their intensity towards the end of the third quarter, Melbourne continued to have all the answers, quashing any hopes of a comeback.
Despite Collingwood’s season now being over, such finals experience will prove invaluable next season.
Meanwhile, after such an impressive performance, the Vixens demonstrated they are more than capable of challenging the Swifts next week, and quite possibly the Lightning the week after.
Finding form at the right time could mean Simone McKinnis’ side transcend from a good team to a great team.
However, after an up and down regular season, consistency will be key as the Vixens continue in pursuit of their first Suncorp Super Netball premiership.