The Melbourne Vixens have opened their 2021 marketing campaign with a loss, happening to a slicker West Coast Fever outfit at John Cain Arena on Saturday.
Appearing in Melbourne for the primary time in over 600 days, the Vixens have been a far much less skilled aspect to the one which triumphed in 2019’s semi-final, and the Fever capitalised, reversing final 12 months’s grand final outcome to provide the 65-51 win.
The Fever stormed away late after a third-term Vixens rally, with a powerful final quarter confirming a cushty victory to open the season.
Imposing Fever shooter Jhaniele Fowler scored 54 targets, whereas the midcourt play of Verity Charles and Alice Teague-Neeld was instrumental because the pair mixed for 31 assists.
Fowler flexed her muscle tissue early, though she was matched on the different finish by Mwai Kumwenda, who shot for aim flawlessly in the primary quarter.
Kumwenda was helped by the slick link-up play from star centre Kate Moloney, who appeared on a mission to reply the Vixens’ pre-season critics.
The reigning premiers’ transition from midcourt into assault was questioned in the lead-up to the season opener, because the injured Liz Watson watched on from the sidelines. Debutant Hannah Mundy, 19, was given first shot on the immense problem of filling Watson’s footwear at wing assault.
The Vixens’ entry into assault began to deteriorate late in the primary and into the second time period, although, and the Fever capitalised to tug away to a nine-goal lead earlier than a timeout was referred to as by Melbourne coach Simone McKinnis.
Fever centre Charles started to run rampant, teaming up with wing assault Emma Cosh and aim assault Teague-Neeld to offer top-notch service to Fowler, who couldn’t be faulted in her taking pictures for aim.
A pair of profitable Super Shot makes an attempt — one from Kumwenda and one from the Vixens’ different debutant, Ruby Barkmeyer — helped bridge the hole between the 2 sides, however Teague-Neeld quickly scored two of her personal to make sure halftime respiration house.
The Vixens possessed the ball for 52 per cent of the primary half, however typically struggled to soak up the Fever’s strain and turned it over 13 occasions.
The third time period opened with a few uncommon misses by Fowler, permitting the Vixens to shut in on their halftime deficit.
A wedding of cleaner passing and spectacular taking pictures introduced the Vixens again to inside 5 targets early in the second half, whereas Jo Weston and Kadie-Ann Dehaney intercepted attacking balls on the different finish.
The sport heated up and the strain lifted from either side, inflicting a flurry of third-quarter turnovers, however the Fever maintained a wholesome lead on the final break, and in the end ran away with the sport to provide a complete spherical one win.