Melbourne Vixens v GIANTS Netball, preliminary final, grand final, West Coast Fever, Liz Watson, Keira Austin, Rahni Samason, preview, game details, start time

The Melbourne Vixens will host the GIANTS this weekend for a spot in the Super Netball grand final against the West Coast Fever.

The Vixens suffered a heavy loss to the Fever last weekend and will need to bounce back if they are to stay alive and make the trip west for the final match of the year.

They will be without star goal attack Keira Austin, who will miss the do-or-die clash under the health and safety protocols.

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The Giants won through to the preliminary final with victory over Collingwood Magpies.

Fresh from resigning their entire squad this week for next season, GIANTS are hoping to qualify for back-to-back grand finals.

Cath Cox previews Saturday’s preliminary final.

MELBOURNE VIXENS v GIANTS

Saturday, June 25, 7pm at John Cain Arena

Tip: Giants

Match up to watch: Liz Watson v Amy Parmenter

Every team all season would say you have to shut down Liz Watson – but whether you can do it or not is a different story. The fact that the Fever managed to do it shows Watson can be stopped in 2022.

I think it’s the WA for both teams that will be the difference on Saturday. It’s big jobs for the WD in this game with Parmenter on Watson and whoever the Vixens start in WD against Maddie Hay. Watson and Hay have been in incredible form this year – if you can shut those WA’s down, I think you are doing a pretty good job at getting yourself to a winning game.

Firebirds part way with head coach | 00:29

What we learnt in finals week one: The GIANTS head into the clash as the form team. They played a tough game, they had to fight their way through it, they had to weather a couple of fightbacks from the Magpies, and they did. They built really nicely across the game.

The Vixens only won the last quarter against the Fever, had a really slow start and every single player I think had more to give. I don’t think you will ever see the Vixens and those seven players have a game like that again. I think they will be fired up and they will have addressed the slow starts and the high penalties. It’s their last opportunity to have a game in front of their home crowd.

The GIANTS will be aware they won’t get a Vixens side like Fever did last week.

Fever take down Vixens in Finals triumph | 02:22

The game plan: The GIANTS are the number one team in the competition for Super Shots – but it’s worth noting the Vixens haven’t needed to take them.

They’ve been leading for the majority of their games this season, they’ve been in control and the fact they’ve got through a season without having to use them shows the super shot isn’t taking over the game as some fear.

The GIANTS use the super shots more organic; they are just shoot from distance – they don’t care if it’s super shot time or not. The problem with the GIANTS is you could be up by 10 or 15 goals and you can’t be comfortable as we know they’ve got the ability to get back in the game, and get back in the game quickly.

The fact Keira Austin is out is not great news, but it could potentially rally the Vixens. Rahni Samason was outstanding last weekend, nailing 10 of 14 super shots to really gave the scoreline a bit of a nudge. I think the GIANTS will be worried about her ability and the Vixens won’t freak out about Austin not being there. But whether Samason can run out an entire game in goal attack is the question. Ruby Barkmeyer comes into the team for the preliminary final.

Giants take down Magpies in minor semi | 01:43

The final word: Both these sides have got plenty of finals experience now, so that won’t be an excuse. Whichever way the end result goes, it will be a nice story.

The GIANTS have spoken all season about going one better than 2021. They have plotted getting to the grand final and going one better with victory.

And the Vixens, the possibility of going from premiers to wooden spooners to premiers again would be a dream too.

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