Vixens smash Thunderbirds in Super Netball shocker
The Melbourne Vixens have delivered a striking statement to the rest of the Super Netball competition, crushing the top-ranked Adelaide Thunderbirds 60-39 at John Cain Arena.
The Vixens suffocated the Thunderbirds 35-15 across the middle two quarters on Saturday night and outscored them 49-25 after quartertime to leapfrog NSW Swifts and West Coast Fever into second position on the table.
Emily Mannix was a powerhouse at goal keeper, spearheading the defensive masterclass which brought Adelaide's five-game winning streak to an emphatic end, the Thunderbirds held to the lowest score in a completed game by any side this season.
"Really proud of that performance," said Mannix, who racked up eight intercepts, six deflections and three rebounds.
"We knew the Thunderbirds have been the team to beat all season.
"We felt the pressure might have been on them a little bit and we're pushing for that top position as well.
"We came out and really put it to them."
The Thunderbirds went into the match without injured captain Hannah Petty (quad) and attacker Tippah Dwan (ankle) but looked switched on early and 14-11 at quartertime.
For the next 45 minutes it was all Melbourne.
Mannix's defensive stablemate Jo Weston went off for treatment on her left shoulder following a mid-air collision with Thunderbirds midcourter Maisie Nankivell in the second term before returning to the court in the third.
In Weston's temporary absence, Kate Eddy came on and corralled the dangerous Georgie Horjus, while Mwai Kumwenda neutralised Shamera Sterling at the other end.
All the Vixens fed on the in-your-face example set by Mannix as the home side rode a 10-0 burst to a 30-22 halftime lead.
Their dominance didn't wane after the break, Melbourne following their 19-8 second quarter with a 16-7 effort in the third stanza.
The Vixens went on another 12-0 scoring avalanche either side of three-quarter-time to announce themselves as genuine title contenders, while making the Thunderbirds, for the first time all season, look second rate.