McKinnis frustrated but proud

THE Melbourne Vixens were looking to end their fairy tale comeback on a high and win their second Suncorp Super Netball title in three years, but it was ultimately not to be.

Although Vixens coach Simone McKinnis was unsurprisingly “frustrated” with how things panned out for her team on Sunday night, she was still proud of their season.

“It’s extremely disappointing but we’ve had a chat. I’m extremely proud of the girls and what they’ve achieved, turned around from last season, how far we’ve come this year, I’m extremely proud and I know that the squad we have and the athletes we’ve added to the group there’s much room still to grow for this group. So super disappointed… but I’m proud of what we’ve achieved to get here.”

She also thought “our start was reasonable. We were in the contest pretty well, I thought we had a good start. I just thought that we made simple errors and silly mistakes at costly times and it’s hard to come back from that.

“The Fever played a great game but I think we let ourselves down with some simple executions and some basic stuff on top of Fever’s defensive work as well.”

When asked about why they moved Kate Eddy into goal defence for the first time all season in the last quarter, McKinnis noted that it was all about trying to give them something different across that transverse line and noted that Eddy does often train with the in the ring defenders.

McKinnis was pleased with the defensive efforts from her team at the start of the Grand Final, but was acutely aware that her team gave away far too many penalties.

“There were too many penalties, and that is a challenge with playing a team like Fever where you need to be getting ball out the front. I think when we put in some variation and offline, that worked well for us at times but that ability to get off the body, we got caught on the body [or should I say], not pulling out of contests that we should be stepping back from because that releases the pressure as well.”

She reflected on the season as a whole, and the ups and downs that went along with it.

“It was probably more consistent early on, I think the back end of the season we still had some up and down games and some losses. In the back end of the season you were up against some teams that were fighting for their season and it’s just a battle every week. So that’s why we were excited about finishing with that minor premiership and the hope that you’d get that rest as well. I think it was a little bit more up and down in the back end of the season. I think particularly with Rahni out for that 6 week block, that’s a lot of time without Rahni to be able to work her within a group.”

So despite the understandable frustrations from McKinnis, she is still very proud of her side and whether she intended to or not, gave off a vibe that the Vixens will be hungrier to come back from this disappointment in 2023.

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