Super Netball issues apology as Cath Cox lashes out over 'ridiculous' farce

The Melbourne Vixens were wrongly given two centre passes in a row against the Collingwood Magpies.

·4-min read
Cath Cox, pictured here during a Super Netball game.
Netball great Cath Cox has called for the Melbourne Vixens-Collingwood Magpies result to be changed due to the centre pass fiasco. Image: Fox Sports/Getty

Aussie netball legend Cath Cox has called for the 'unfair' result in the Melbourne Vixens' win over the Collingwood Magpies to be overturned. The Super Netball competition was rocked by controversy last weekend when the Vixens were wrongly awarded two centre passes in a row in their one-point win over Collingwood.

The centre pass is meant to alternate between the two teams, but umpires accidentally gave the Vixens two in a row during a fourth-quarter comeback in which they erased a seven-goal deficit. Collingwood coach Nicole Richardson angrily remonstrated with umpires at the time, but her protests fell on deaf ears.

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On Tuesday, Netball Australia issued a statement apologising for the 'human error', but said the result would stand. “Human error is a feature of all sport, and while this is the case, we apologise to the Magpies and acknowledge the need to identify and apply mechanisms to better support our umpires, officials and teams.”

However the apology isn't good enough, according to former Diamonds shooter Cox. The former player-turned-commentator told news.com: “That’s got to change. I think that score has to be overruled. If they miss out on a finals series by one point because of something that happened in a game that was out of their control, that’s ridiculous.

"I believe the stance from Netball Australia is it will be investigated and the score will stay as it is, which I think is ridiculously unfair. I think that should be seriously looked at and if nothing else it should be at least a draw because the fact of the matter is the Vixens only got up by one because they had two centre passes in a row.”

Collingwood Magpies coach blasts umpiring 'fiasco'

Richardson took aim at the officials after the game, saying: “What happened in the last minute and a half is an absolute fiasco. You cannot have a result like that. This is an elite level competition. You have an automated scoreboard that tells you whose centre pass it is.

“You have a bench who knows exactly whose centre pass it is, but the bench do not have the power to do anything about it. That has cost us the game and that is why I am angry.

“Sophie (Garbin) addressed it. I then got up and addressed it. I was basically ignored. They just wanted to finish the game and we wanted to bring it to their attention then and there in the moment of the game and they didn’t want to listen to us and the game continued.

Nicole Richardson, pictured here arguing with umpires during Collingwood's clash with Melbourne Vixens.
Nicole Richardson argues with umpires during Collingwood's clash with Melbourne Vixens. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

“We have been completely robbed because we would have had an opportunity to go two goals up or an opportunity to starve them of the ball and take some time off the clock. And they shot after the siren anyway.”

It wasn't the only controversy to erupt in Super Netball over the weekend, after farcical scenes at Netball SA Stadium in Adelaide. The start of the Thunderbirds-Swifts match was delayed for an hour because some slippery court decals had to be removed.

When the match finally got underway it was 25-25 at half-time when a power outage hit. The second dekay prevented the match from resuming because it wasn't going to be completed in time. A draw was therefore declared and both teams took two points.

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