Vixens' mid-court prowess holds off Swifts

James Lemon
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SUPER NETBALL SWIFTS VIXENS

Mwai Kumwenda scored 37 goals from 39 attempts as the Melbourne Vixens outclassed the NSW Swifts

NSW Swifts have been outclassed 58-65 as Melbourne Vixens' structural discipline got the better of the home side in their Super Netball clash.

Coming out of retirement midway through this season and working her way up to a starting spot, Vixens wing defence Renae Ingles' two intercepts formed a small piece of wider mid-court pressure that made it difficult for the Swifts to return serve on Saturday, often unable to garner clean possession at the top.

Vixens' hallmark was the fast-passing counterattack that followed at Quaycentre in Sydney, with goal-shooter Mwai Kumwenda manipulating her split step upon landing to draw herself ever closer to the post and finish, on her way to 37 goals from 39 attempts.

Swifts coach Briony Akle was unable to relieve her side through the bench, with two regulars unavailable for selection through injury.

"You've got to try (and stay positive)," Akle said.

"At the end of the day, we've got two injuries but it's not an excuse for those seven that are out there."

"I thought we fell into their defensive structures far too early. You just can't do that."

Vixens goalkeeper Kadie-Ann Dehaney was able to shut dominant Swifts goal-shooter Sam Wallace out for small spells and when she did, the scoreboard showed the difference it made.

Two such interruptions led to a five-goal streak late in the second quarter.

Nonetheless, Wallace finished with 48 from 50, though the stat sheet can't translate the flair with which she approached the game, including scoring a goal as she fell over the baseline and a memorable no-look pass through the legs as she recycled the feed.

"(The through the legs pass) did make me smile. As long as it works - and it did work - I'm happy for her to do it," Akle said.

The home side was able to draw the third quarter and win the fourth to earn a bonus point but it wasn't enough to claw back the goals they let through in the first half.