The Melbourne Vixens were completely outplayed by the Collingwood Magpies in the Melbourne Derby, suffering an “un-Vixen-like” 16-goal loss in Sydney.
Head coach Simone McKinnis could not find a single positive to take away from the match, “very disappointed” with her team’s performance.
“I can’t (find a positive). It’s always hard straight after a game, but there’s nothing to feel positive about from that at all.”
The Vixens started the match well, but their early lead was quickly swallowed by two Gabby Sinclair supershots in the closing minutes of the first term.
From there, Melbourne struggled to stay in touch with Collingwood falling five goals behind at the main break.
“It has been a challenge for us across many games, is being able to generate that spark and momentum. It was costly for us, particularly in that second quarter.
“We scored off one of eight gained ball, so we ended up 16 to 11 down in that quarter. Whereas if you score off the gained ball, well it’s a different second quarter. That can set a platform for the rest of the game.
“We certainly didn’t respond to a challenge.”
It was the same story for the Vixens who had another 33 general play turnovers in four quarters of netball.
“It has been an issue for us generally, is those turnovers and gained balls, and not scoring off them.
“That’s not about the arena, that’s about your teammates and the game and your game smarts, and thats the stuff we’ve got to work on.”
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Omitted from the squad on Friday and back in on Saturday, Rahni Samason looked tentative on her shots early but found her way into the opening quarter.
After two weeks of a settled goal circle with Samason and Mwai Kumwenda, Kaylia Stanton returned to goal attack at times but looked to pass off instead of playing her goal-scoring role.
“It’s not a deliberate play with a goaler. That’s your job is putting up the shot.”
“You want to be working hard to have two threats in the circle and have two gaolers who want to put up shots,” McKinnis said.
After playing in the opening rounds of the season, young shooter Ruby Barkmeyer hasn’t taken the court since Round 4.
“Ruby’s there, we’re still working hard at training. We’ve got as much match play as possible over this next two weeks, to get her out there as much as possible,” McKinnis said.
Kadie-Ann Dehaney was solid in defence, contesting with Shimona Nelson in the air on the Magpies feeds into the goal circle.
“Certainly KD from the start was contesting hard, which is what we ask of her,” McKinnis said.
“But along with everybody, it did drop off. That ability to push on not there.”
McKinnis put it bluntly post-match, that this fortnight would be about turning the season around.
“When you play on court like that, I don’t reckon you need time off.”
“We’ve got to use this bye period, this two weeks off, just to concentrate and work on what we need to as a group,” she said.
“Things have to turn around, things have to be different. It’s not about talking about it, but it’s the reality about what are the actions, what are we going to do.
“It’s not just the technical part of it, but it’s the mindset, it’s the fight, it’s the fire.
“Vixens don’t let leads blow out to 10, 15, 20 goals. It’s not acceptable. So it’s something about the mindset there that really has to change for us.”
Mannix, a late withdrawal on Saturday morning, will now have an additional fortnight to get her hand right for the back half of the season.
“We’ve got that extra time for her now. It had been good this week. She’ll continue that progress this week,” McKinnis said.
“With Em back it gives us some flexibility and different options out there, which is a strength of ours.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Vixens, they face an undefeated West Coast Fever outfit in Perth on June 27.
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