ANZ Championship: Slow start obstructs Vixens

By Aimee Dawson

The West Coast Fever continue their undefeated start to the 2015 ANZ Championship season after overcoming multiple comebacks by the reigning premiers, the Melbourne Vixens.

The win is only the second time in the history of the competition that the Fever has defeated the Vixens, the only other time being in 2010.

The win not only elevates the Fever to four points clear at the top of the Australian conference ladder, but they also retain the Challenge Trophy, which will next be on the line in round nine against the Wakaito/ Bay of Plenty Magic.

The loss to the Vixens wasn’t the worst news to come out of the game for the team, with Madison Robinson injuring her knee in the last quarter.

Robinson, who is a vital member to the Vixens team, injured her right knee after changing direction at a centre pass, with just four minutes left in the game.

The extent of Robinson’s injury will be known tomorrow when she is further assessed.

The downfall of the Vixens games was the first quarter, which they lost 12 to six.

The Vixens’ attacking end struggled in the first quarter with the defence of Fever’s Shae Brown (nee Bolton), Ashleigh Brazill, April Letton and Erena Mikaere shutting down the Vixens’ front line.

A switch in position at quarter time between shooters Karyn Bailey and Tegan Caldwell proved the change that was needed for the Vixens, rattling the Fever’s defence and enabling a comeback, drawing level with nine minutes gone in the second quarter.

By half time, the Vixens had pulled the score back to just two goals.

The final half of the game ebbed-and-flowed between the two teams with the Fever maintaining the lead.

The Fever managed to extend the score from the three goal margin to six after Robinson sustained the injury late in the fourth quarter.

In other games this round the Queensland Firebirds overcame a late surge from the Adelaide Thunderbirds to win 48 – 46; the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic and Northern Mystics’ draw came at a cost with Mystics shooter Catherine Latu leaving the court with an ankle injury; and the Southern Steel were too good for the Canterbury Tactix, winning ­­­84 – 58 and smashing the all-time highest score in the ANZ Championship by four goals.

Looking towards round seven, the Steel take on the Magic; the Vixens host the Firebirds, the Thunderbirds and Swifts play each other and the Tactix take on the Fever.


Image courtesy of The Advertiser