The Queensland Firebirds fell to the Melbourne Vixens in round six of the Suncorp Super Netball, 66-64.
It will be a bitter pill to swallow after the game was tied when the clock ran out, but Rahni Samason of the Vixens was on target with her penalty shot for a contact called against Rudi Ellis just seconds before.
The Firebirds jumped out to an early lead, with Romelda Aiken and Gretel Bueta on fire early.
Kim Ravaillion was also back to her best, with 18 goal assists across the match while she showcased her clean hands with 34 feeds.
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Coach Megan Anderson spoke after the game about the failure to close out the game.
“I think we’re having real trouble converting our turnovers,” she explained.
“It’s been a trend the whole year and something we need to fix up.
“If you keep giving the ball back to them, after turning it over, you just keep giving them more and more opportunities, and their shooters hardly missed tonight.”
Jemma Mi Mi had a strong start, and finished with eight goal assists and 19 feeds. Her impact has been felt for the Firebirds off the court this week as well.
Mi Mi spoke after the game, about the impact that Indigenous Round has had on her, and how she has been involved.
“I love playing at home, and for it to be Indigenous Round, and to have my family up in the stands, and to see all the girls wear the dress so proudly and really embrace this round was amazing,” she said.
The Firebirds, along with every other Suncorp Super Netball team, are wearing special Indigenous Round dresses this weekend.
The dresses are inspired by the contribution that Indigenous netballers and Indigenous Australians have made both to the game and the wider community.
In the case of the Firebirds, they are also wearing specially painted shoes. Mi Mi’s aunt, “Aunty Hazel,” helped the Firebirds embrace Indigenous Round with their footwear as well.
“Auntie Hazel painted all our shoes,” Mi Mi explained.
“The story is pretty much the journey of us becoming Firebirds. There is a spirit on all the girls’ shoes, and that represents protection and that represents us.
“Its really special to have all the girls in those shoes today, and Meg’s [Anderson] as well… really embraced it.”
Gabi Simpson spoke after the game, about the significance of Indigenous Round to the team.
“In the past, we’ve accidentally seen having Jemma [Mi Mi] as a player in our team as a badge of honour,” she said.
“I think it’s really changed to a real responsibility for us as a team, to not only help share the messages that Jem has been sharing with us, but as a group keep projecting the change that we want to see and also being allies.
“Also as a team, being able to take responsibility ourselves that it’s not just Jemma that needs to do that, and the way we’ve gone about doing that is that we’ve had elders come in and speak to us about what this round means to them, and our role in that.
“…understanding some of the stories of the impact that what has happened in the past is having on current day Indigenous athletes and people, and how we can act as an ally.”
Simpson explained that the Firebirds will continue to keep the impact of Indigenous Round alive with them.
“We’ve taken in some of the customs and put them into our everyday activities.
“We’ve had a welcoming ceremony for this amazing place [Nissan Arena], which was just incredible to be a part of, and a Welcome to Country every time we play, and every meeting we have, and then we’re continuing to learn.”
All quotes obtained courtesy of the Goal Circle Podcast
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