Suncorp Super Netball

Fever spoil MJ’s party to cement a place in top four – SSN Round 8 review

West Coast Fever spoiled Vixens shooter Mwai Kumwenda’s 100th top-flight game with an emphatic 64-50 win at Nissan Arena, Brisbane, for Grand Final Rematch II.

All eyes will be on Fever versus Firebirds in the upcoming condensed Suncorp Super Netball Hub as the clubs battle it out to take fourth place.

The round 8 clash, which was rescheduled after three Vixens were denied entry to Western Australia prompting a fixture shuffle, was a topsy turvy affair with the Melbourne side strong in both the first and third quarters.

But Vixens coach Simone McKinnis will be rueing the second quarter from her side which ultimately kept them out of the game for the second half.

Ahead of the match, question marks were raised as Fever goal attack Sasha Glasgow was ruled out through a ‘niggle to her foot’.

Despite the out, Fever started strong, quickly racing out to a good lead with dominant feeds into shooter Jhaniele Fowler under the post – mostly off the circle with good vision from midcourter Verity Charles.

Suddenly, with about eight minutes to go in the quarter, Vixens came alive and started to mount a comeback applying scoreboard pressure.

With two crucial turnovers from Fever, Vixens goalers Kumwenda and Kaylia Stanton, celebrating her 50th league match, found their rhythm and linked well with midcourters Kate Moloney and Hannah Mundy.

The connection allowed Vixens to roar back and take the lead with just under two minutes in the first quarter.

Two intercepts from Fever Keeper and Captain Courtney Bruce put her side ahead as the clock wound down.

The second quarter was as straightforward as they come for the Fever who ran away to an eight-goal lead at the midway point.

Vixens had no answers to the defensive efforts of Fever as the backline frustrated the opposition into mistakes – which Fowler was able to convert.

The Fever got out by 14-goals and took a commanding lead at the halftime break.

The third quarter saw another challenge from Vixens, who won the quarter, with two supershot goals from Kumwenda to cap off her celebration.

Despite the best efforts of Vixens, Fever finished strong which allowed Fowler to score 58 goals from 59 attempts.

An 8-1 run to start the fourth quarter put Fever ahead by 19 goals – allowing coach Stacey Marinkovich to experiment with Olivia Lewis at GK and Emma Cosh in GA to end the game.

No games will be played this weekend.

A fixture for the remainder of the season will be announced by Netball Australia in due course.

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