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Mwawi Kumwenda’s Vixens back on top

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Malawi National Netball Team influential shooter, Mwawi Kumwenda, inspired her Australian club, Melbourne Vixens, back to the top of Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball with a 71-50 win over Adelaide Thunderbirds at Margaret Court Arena on Saturday.

Mwawi top-scored in the game with 48 goals that translated into a 91 percent conversation rate.

After GWS Giants opened the door for them with a shock loss at home to Queensland Firebirds on Friday night, Vixens stormed through that opening with a comprehensive start-to-finish display.

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According to heraldsun. com.au, it was not Vixens’ most complete performance of the season with the determined Thunderbirds making life hard early on in what was their second-last match of the season.

But having lost to Giants last week, Coach, Simone McKinnis, said it was just important to get back to winning ways.

“They were all pretty disappointed (after last week) and it took them a couple of days. You could see that they were a little bit flat at training on Wednesday, but come Friday I felt, ‘yep, OK, they are on with it now. That is netball, you have got to be able to win, able to lose, but get on with it,” McKinnis said.

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It took only 10 seconds for Vixens to take the lead from the opening throw through Mwawi and they held that one-goal margin at quarter time despite missing four of their 21 shots and Thunderbirds going at 100 per cent.

But by half-time, McKinnis’ team had been rewarded for its midcourt dominance, with the lead having blown out to five goals—although that margin had been as much as nine.

Wing attack Liz Watson was instrumental, and ended the match with 27 assists, but goal keeper Emily Mannix and goal defence Jo Weston provided a fortress at the back, forcing Thunderbirds into an attacking reshuffle midway through the second quarter.

That momentum carried on after the main break, with Vixens extending the gap to 12 goals by three-quarter time before blowing it out to 21 against the labouring visitors.

Mannix was named Most Valuable Player.

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