Round 12 was nothing short of remarkable. Georgia Sassi explains why unexpected results mean the fight for a finals spot is just heating up.
Swifts v Vixens (57 – 51)
The NSW Swifts reclaimed their top spot on the ladder after downing the Melbourne Vixens by 6 goals on Saturday Night.
Following a disappointing loss last weekend, the Swifts have reasserted themselves as competition front-runners in stunning fashion.
From the starting whistle, Briony Akle’s girls were dominant, restricting the Vixen’s attacking flow.
After being outscored five goals to one early in the first quarter, the Vixen’s intensity lifted, led by an impressive defensive display from GD, Emily Mannix.
Yet, as time went on, the Swift’s confidence continued to rise, imposingly taking their game to the next level every time their opponents pushed forward.
NSW’s star goal shooter Sam Wallace put on a clinic, earning her MVP honours after scoring 45 out of 49 goals.
Whilst the Vixen’s midcourters, Liz Watson and Kate Moloney desperately tried to inject some fire back into their side, they struggled to penetrate their attacking third.
Despite the Swift’s growing injury list featuring star players Helen Housby and Maddy Proud, their line-up gelled fluently, showing impressive depth.
They also managed to snag three bonus points, earning a four-point buffer from second placed Sunshine Coast Lighting.
“We knew bonus points are now huge,” Akle told AAP post-match.
“We needed to win quarters tonight and not just the game.”
The Vixens managed to claim their only bonus point after getting back within four goals in the final term, despite trailing by nine earlier.
Whilst this failed to have a major impact on the game, both the Swifts and Vixens have cemented their spot in finals, and will be looking to fine-tune their line-ups in the final few rounds.