Kiera Austin shone in her first season for the Vixens after coming off an ACL injury (Photo: Melbourne Vixens/Twitter)

After a busy off-season full of player movements, The Inner Sanctum takes a look at which recruits have starred in their new colours.

Following an offseason filled with plenty of big moves, there were some major players who shone brightly throughout the regular season.

The Inner Sanctum takes a look at the five best recruits from the 2022 SSN regular season and their impact.

Kiera Austin – Melbourne Vixens

Coming off an ACL injury the season before and into a talented lineup like the Vixens is never easy. However, ex-Giant Kiera Austin has slotted seamlessly into the side.

Whilst she wasn’t a regular starter at the beginning of the season, she forced her way into the starting VII and finished the regular season on fire.

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In all 14 games she has totalled 143 assists, 10 intercepts, 12 deflections, 569.5 Nissan Net Points, 239 Goals and 26 Super Shots while shooting at 77% Goal Accuracy and 54% Super Shot Accuracy.

This season helped force her way into the Diamonds Commonwealth Games squad, but before that she’ll play a massive role for Melbourne in their push for another Premiership.

Sophie Garbin – Collingwood Magpies

Many expected another big season for Diamonds member Sophie Garbin having made the move from reigning premiers the NSW Swifts.

And whilst her Jamaican partner-in-crime Shimona Nelson has potentially outshone her, Garbin still played a key role for the Magpies in their push for finals.

Playing mostly Goal Attack for the season, she had 94 Goals, 10 Super Shots, 11 Rebounds, 155.5 Nissan Net Points, shooting at 69% Goal Shooting Accuracy and 40% Super Shot Accuracy.

She was named once again in the Diamonds squad for the Comm Games and will be an integral player for the Magpies if they are to go deep into finals.

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Tippah Dwan – Adelaide Thunderbirds

Coming across from the Firebirds for more game time with the Thunderbirds, some had hopes that Tippah Dwan would play a key role at Goal Attack.

And whilst she didn’t fully reach the heights of her breakthrough 2020 campaign, she still played a role in the Adelaide lineup, particularly helping Georgie Horjus become the star Wing Attack she was during the season.

This season her numbers included 135 goals, 21 Super Shots, 109 Nissan Net Points as well as shooting at 69% Goal Shooting accuracy.

Whilst she missed out on the Diamonds squad for the Comm Games, she’ll look to develop her game even more in this coming offseason.

Tara Hinchliffe – Sunshine Coast Lightning

Another one coming off an ACL injury the season before, many expected Hinchliffe to not be available until later on in the season.

However, the ex-Firebird came into the Lightning lineup straight away following the loss of Karla Pretorious and had another strong season.

Once the Lightning’s season finished she had collected 19 intercepts, 39 deflections, 20 rebounds as well as 520 Nissan Net Points.

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The only way is up for Hinchliffe and like Dwan she’ll look to continue to develop her game this offseason having not been selected in the Diamonds Comm games squad.

Olivia Lewis – Melbourne Vixens

Having had an impact in the pre-season, it looked set to be a big season for Lewis in a strong Vixens defensive unit.

And despite usually coming off the bench behind Emily Mannix and Jo Weston, the ex-Fever defender still had a major impact whenever she came onto the court.

Playing in 10 games during the regular season, she had 10 intercepts, 14 deflections, six rebounds plus a career-high 171 Nissan Net Points.

Her role will once more be a key one for the Vixens if they are to push for their second SSN title.

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