Big derby win puts Vixens top of Super Netball

Melbourne Vixens have powered their way to top spot on the Super Netball ladder with Diamonds shooter Kiera Austin producing a complete performance in a 77-58 win over local rival Melbourne Mavericks.

In front of their biggest home and away crowd at John Cain Arena of more than 9,000, it was the 8-1 Vixens' largest score and winning margin of the season.

They jumped four points ahead of West Coast Fever and moved their percentage ahead of the Perth-based team.

The Mavericks, who dropped to 3-6, remained sixth, one win off fourth spot.

They hung tough for the first half, but couldn’t slow the Vixens' swift and accurate ball movement in the second, losing the third and fourth quarters by seven points.

“It was a tough game and it took us to the second half to start getting those openings in the game, and I was happy that we took advantage of those opportunities that we got in the second half and pushed on,” Vixens coach Simone McKinnis told Fox.

Scores were tied 18-18 at quarter-time and the Vixens were up by five at the half, with defender Rudi Ellis leading the way with several turnover-causing plays.

The Vixens shot away in the last five minutes of the third quarter, outscoring the Mavericks 10-1 In the last four-and-a-half minutes to establish a 12-goal buffer going into the last period.

They were up by as much as 22 in the last and their relentless pressure generated nine more deflections than the Mavericks across the game.

Those defensive efforts were rewarded by the accuracy of Sophie Garbin (51/56) and Austin (16/19), with the latter making all seven of her Super Shots.

Austin supplemented her deadly long range shooting with a game-high 21 goal assists and a super defensive effort which included four deflections, two gains and an intercept.

“I think I get more satisfaction from an intercept than a Super Shot,” Austin told Fox.

Ellis excelled with five gains, three intercepts and five deflections before an ankle injury forced her off the court near the end of the game.

Vixens pressure around the court limited the supply to Mavericks shooters Shimona Jok (38/40) and Gabrielle Sinclair (14/20), though the latter landed six of her nine Super Shots.

“We haven’t had two wins in a row and that's something that we really need to work on,” Mavericks captain Amy Parameter told Fox.

Wing defence Parmenter dislocated a finger during the game but returned to the court, while the Mavericks went in to the match without English shooter Eleanor Cardwell, who had a quadriceps injury.

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