Dominant Fever defy recent history to book Grand Final berth

THE West Coast Fever are the first team into the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final, after they were far too dominant for the Melbourne Vixens, winning 71-62 in last night’s semi.  

Not a lot went right for the Vixens, as they returned an uncharacteristic performance in the face of the Fever’s out-of-the-bag dominance.

The Vixens gave away a very high number of penalties (74 to the Fever’s 47) and had a significantly high number of turnovers too (26-17).

Early in the match, an intercept to the Fever saw them get going and take an early lead.

However, once the Vixens finally got on the board they got on a bit of a roll, and the Fever’s advantage was gone as quickly as it was established.

The ascendancy continued to swap hands between the sides, with both edging ahead at various times throughout the first quarter.

However, the Fever got on a bit of a run late towards the end of the term, and by the first break, they had built quite a handy buffer for themselves.

In what seemed like a peculiar decision from the Vixens, they subbed on Rahni Samason for Mwai Kumwenda, even though it was Kiera Austin who had the yips in front of goal early.

The lead was ultimately nine goals in the Fever’s favour at the first change.

Austin seemed to find her confidence again at the start of the second term, and with it the Vixens were able to claw the lead back slightly.

They got it down to as low as seven, but then the Fever reestablished their authority on the match and pushed the lead back out once again.

Not a whole lot went right for the Vixens in the second quarter, with a number of calls going against them, but the Fever were also quite dominant and proved why they have been one of the teams to beat all season.

Their defensive end of Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang were particularly impressive, while Jhaniele Fowler was using her height advantage to her advantage.

At half time the Fever lead by 12, with the Vixens needing to climb quite the mountain to get back into the game.

Things went from bad to worse for the Vixens in the third quarter, as the Fever continued to put the foot hard on the throttle, and their lead ballooned out to as much as 20 goals.

However, Samason came to the rescue in a big way for the Vixens, shooting four straight super shots to bring the margin back to 14 at the final change.

Samason was again the saviour for the Vixens in the final term, but the Fever were far too strong and the Vixens were ultimately never in the game.

Without Samason, the Fever lead would have been even higher. She finished with a whopping 10 super shots.

Meanwhile for the Fever, it was a much more even performance from across the team.

Bruce and Aryang combined for seven deflections and seven intercepts between them, while Alice Teague-Neeld and Verity Simmons were absolute workhorses through the midcourt.

MELBOURNE VIXENS      10 | 16 | 16 | 20 (62)
WEST COAST FEVER        19 | 19 | 18 | 15 (71)


Melbourne Vixens:

GS: Mwai Kumwenda
GA: Kiera Austin
WA: Liz Watson
C: Kate Moloney
WD: Kate Eddy
GD: Jo Weston
GK: Emily Mannix

West Coast Fever:

GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Sasha Glasgow
WA: Alice Teague-Neeld
C: Verity Simmons
WD: Jess Anstiss
GD: Sunday Aryang
GK: Courtney Bruce

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