Vixens dismantle Steel
Sat, 30 Jun 2012 9:40p.m.
Melbourne Vixens secured the home advantage in the trans-Tasman netball league playoffs, dismantling a struggling Southern Steel 56-38 in Invercargill.
With just three losses over the season, the Vixens are the championship form team, and their win assures them of a home semi-final next week.
The Steel, second last on the ladder, had a horror start. They coughed up possession far too easily and lacked accuracy right through the court.
The Vixens piled pressure on every Steel pass, were hungrier for the 50-50 ball and shooters Karyn Howarth and Tegan Caldwell were clinical in their finishing.
The few times the Steel managed to keep possession, the midcourt just couldn't find any drive onto the ball, and the feed into shooters Donna Wilkins and Jodi Brown was stilted and hesitant.
Ahead 17-6 after 15 minutes, the Vixens maintained momentum in the second quarter.
The Steel rejigged their midcourt, moving Brown to wing attack and bringing in shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit, but the game was beyond salvage and the Vixens led 31-17 at halftime.
Steel circle defenders Storm Purvis and Demelza McCloud worked hard throughout, but Vixens midcourters Madison Browne and Chelsea Tregear showed good pace and variation into the circle and the scoreline kept mounting.
Ahead 44-26 at the three-quarter mark, the Vixens did enough to maintain parity at 12-12 over the closing 15 minutes for the 18-goal win.
While the Vixens were strong right throughout the court, Caldwell particularly shone.
She constructed an excellent 60-minute effort, combining 93 per cent shooting accuracy with superb court work in both attack and defence.
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