Mwawi Kumwenda’s Australian netball club Melbourne Vixens yesterday suffered a 52-56 loss to Giants at AIS Arena to miss an opportunity of settling at the driving seat of the Suncorp Super Netball.
Vixens’ defeat in this table-topping encounter has also ended their nine-game unbeaten run in the eight-team competition, where they are second on the ladder with 19 points from 12 games, the same points as third-placed Lightning, who are inferior on basket difference. Giants lead the pack with 20 points from the same number of matches.
Yesterday, the match proved a hard nut to crack for the high-flying Vixens, who tried in vain to contain their hosts. Giant dominated in all quarters as they increased the tally from 15-11 in the first quarter to 28-25 and 42-35 in the subsequent segments.
According to www.sbs.com.au, Mwawi seemed to struggle to find her impressive rhythm under the loops towards the end of the third quarter, where she was rested.
“Vixens stepped up their defensive pressure in the second quarter, but failed to fully convert that improvement at the other end of the court,” a match report on the website stated.
“The Giants reasserted their authority in the third period, prompting a Melbourne time out and a change with Emma Ryde at goal shooter in place of Mwawi Kumwenda.”
Vixens will be at home against the rock-bottom side Adelaide Thunderbirds on Sunday before concluding their 14-round fixture with an away meeting with West Coast Fever on May 27.
Top-two teams are expected to face-off in the finals and this means Vixens have to win their last two games to stand a chance of fighting for the ultimate glory. n