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Melbourne v GIANTS | Suncorp Super Netball



Melbourne Vixens v GIANTS

Sadly our girls (VIXENS) were beaten in a 65-57 thriller, setting up a Sunshine Coast Lightning v GIANTS | Grand Final in Brisbane | More..

GIANTS NETBALL’S DEFENCE APPLIED THE SQUEEZE AND SUSAN PETTITT ADDED THE SILK AS THE ORANGE OUTFIT BOOKED THEIR SPOT IN NEXT SATURDAY’S GRAND FINAL WITH A 65-57 WIN IN THE SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL PRELIMINARY FINAL AT MELBOURNE’S HISENSE ARENA.

The visitors were dominant for all but the dying minutes against the Melbourne Vixens, playing the sort of disciplined, mistake free netball that works so well in sudden death matches.

Their win means the inaugural grand final will be played between two expansion clubs, with Sunshine Coast Lightning to host the decider.

What most expected to be a thriller never quite hit the hotly contested highs of the first round of semi-finals.

The Giants led from start to finish, with Kristina Brice finishing with a game-high 42 goals at 95 per cent.

Her circle partner Jo Harten was a fine provider and pocketed 23 goals of her own.

What won them the game was a suffocating defence which blanketed Tegan Philip and left Mwai Kumwenda (37 goals) to shoulder most of the scoring for Melbourne.

Pettitt’s role at wing attack was also pivotal.

She was cool with every possession and did not give away a single turnover in a stunning performance.
The Giants were rated as underdogs by most experts and that seemed to suit them just fine.

Scrapping for every contested ball has been a hallmark of their defence all season, with Jamie-Lee Price embodying their attitude throughout the first quarter.

She was at the point of a defence that pushed high and forced the Vixens midcourt into a series of rushed passes.

The result was eight turnovers for the quarter from a Vixens outfit that was behind by three goals at the first change.
That pressure became claustrophobic for the home side in the second quarter.

Nothing came easy for Vixens goaler Philip who had just six goals to show for her first 30 minutes of toil.

Transition was much easier for the Giants. Brice anchored herself to the post and the perfectly placed feeds from Harten and Pettitt found her time and again within scoring range.

Brice’s 22 first-half goals blew apart the Vixens who started the second half trailing by eight.

The Giants’ performance was even stronger in the third term, playing almost as if by their own rules, and in their own time.

Pettitt’s precision continued to present problems for the Melbourne side which worked feverishly in defence but had nothing to show for it.

With nothing to lose, the Vixens revamped their midcourt late in the third quarter, injecting Khao Watts at wing attack as they slipped behind by as much as 12.

Captain Kate Moloney dropped back to wing defence but could not lessen Pettitt’s influence.

Liz Watson, who started the game at wing attack and finished it at centre, was one of very few winners on the night for the Vixens.

She drove with purpose all game and popped up with some valuable defensive scraps in a typically busy performance.

MVP: Jo Harten

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