Debutant delivers Vixens to first win in post-siren thriller

The Melbourne Vixens have won their first game of the season with a thrilling goal after
the siren from debutant Rahni Samason, in what is the first of the two-week
Super Netball Indigenous round.

After being pipped at the post by the Magpies last week, the Queensland Firebirds were looking to
keep the Vixens winless.

Having made a quick exit from Victoria this week amidst the chaos of the most recent
COVID-19 outbreak, the Vixens were also missing defender Emily Mannix, forced out for
two weeks with a fractured knuckle, seeing Samason called in.

The Firebirds named wing attack Jemma Mi Mi, after the only Indigenous player in the league failed to get any court-time in last year’s Indigenous round.

Mi Mi and her teammates ran out in dresses designed by Rachel Sarra, a Goreng Goreng
woman, while the Vixens wore a design by artist Tammy Lee-Atkinson, a Yorta-Yorta
woman from Mooroopna.

”To have Indigenous round for sport in general is amazing and is a great opportunity to highlight Indigenous people,” Lee-Atkinson said. “It’s amazing for netballers in Victoria to see and connect with the dress, and highlight culture.”

The Firebirds dominated early on despite the Vixens’ 100 per cent accuracy and near equal time in possession.

The visitors were unable to keep up the quick pace with the home team, and the synergy between Queensland’s Romelda Aiken and Gretel Bueta in the goal circle saw them lead by eight at the first break.

The Vixens came back with grunt, with former grand final MVP goal shooter Mwai Kumwenda
maintaining their total goal accuracy to win the quarter.

Samason, 23, began her impressive first outing for the Vixens straight away, playing a crucial role in their circle feeds. However, they could not covert in the power five and trailed by two at half time.

Solid defence from Vixens Jo Weston and Kate Eddy, and another week of consistent goal
assists by teammate Hannah Mundy, saw equal scores for the first time. It was an arm
wrestle to the final break, but the Firebirds had their noses in front by two.

The Firebirds held their lead early in the fourth term, contesting nearly every ball the
Vixens held. However, the Vixens levelled the scores, managing to answer to each shot
entering the final power five.

It was a thrilling, neck and neck contest but a flying intercept from Kim Jenner saw the
Firebirds edge ahead. Each team used the super shot to their advantage, tying the scores until player of the match Samason scored for the Vixens after the siren.

Samason said she was just focusing on the task at hand.

“I wasn’t thinking anything honestly, it’s my job to shoot so I just focussed on that,” she said.

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