Super Netball rocked by fresh controversy after Magpies 'completely robbed'

The Collingwood Magpies appeared to be dudded against the Melbourne Vixens.

The Collingwood Magpies, pictured here after their controversial Super Netball loss to Melbourne Vixens.
The Collingwood Magpies were filthy after their controversial Super Netball loss to Melbourne Vixens. Image: Getty

The Super Netball competition has been rocked by fresh controversy after the Collingwood Magpies appeared to be dudded by the umpires in a one-point loss to the Melbourne Vixens. Just 24 hours after the NSW Swifts and Adelaide Thunderbirds match was called a draw at half-time due to a power outage and dangerous court, more drama erupted on Sunday in the Magpies-Vixens fixture.

Mwai Kumwenda nailed a two-point super-shot after the final siren to cap an improbable fourth-quarter comeback as the Vixens won 62-61. However the Magpies were left seething in the aftermath after the umpires accidentally awarded the Vixens two consecutive centre passes late in the final quarter.

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The centre pass is supposed to alternate between each team after a goal, but the Vixens got two in a row at one stage - which appeared to help them gain the ascendancy. The Magpies won each of the first three quarters and appeared to have their second win of the season sewn up.

But Kumwenda turned the derby clash at John Cain Arena on its head with a late flurry to steal the result for Melbourne. The Malawi international hit four two-point Super shots in succession after the Vixens trailed by seven with less than five minutes to play, including the match-winner after the siren.

Magpies coach Nicole Richardson appeared furious at officials over the centre pass blunder, and took aim at them after the match. “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.

Melbourne Vixens players, pictured here celebrating after their win over the Collingwood Magpies.
Melbourne Vixens players celebrate after their win over the Collingwood Magpies. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

“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.

“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.”

Super Netball says Melbourne Vixens farce under review

Fans were equally as upset, labelling the farcical situation a 'joke' and 'disgrace'. Super Netball has since released a statement saying: "Netball Australia is reviewing the circumstances that led to an error in the fourth quarter of yesterday's match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Vixens, where the Vixens were awarded two consecutive centre passes."

Vixens defender Jo Weston said: "I actually can't believe that we won that game by one goal. It was pretty intense. The last two minutes we tried to play the ball around and then Collingwood also tried to sort of spare a bit of time on the clock but then (Kumwenda) with that two-point shot after the buzzer - I couldn't even watch, I was too nervous."

The fresh controversy came just 24 hours after comical scenes at Netball SA Stadium in Adelaide after 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, preventing 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.

with AAP

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