Super Netball 2022: Absolute scenes as Melbourne Vixens book Grand Final spot in thrilling win over Giants

The Melbourne Vixens are heading to the Super Netball Grand Final after they pulled off a great escape in an absolute thriller.

The Melbourne Vixens are through to the Super Netball Grand Final after defeating the Giants by one point in a thrilling preliminary final on Saturday night.

The Vixens went into the clash at Melbourne’s John Cain Arena as favourites and got off to a flyer, taking a 15-7 lead into the quarter time break.

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But the Giants stormed back in the second and third quarters, piling on 40 points to the Vixens’ 23, to hit the front and turn the game on its head.

Just as it looked like an upset was on the cards, the Vixens mounted an epic fightback in the final term to claw their way back from 10 points down.

The dying minutes were absolutely frenetic as the game went down to a thrilling finish.

After Vixens shooter Rahni Samason levelled the score at 54-54, her teammate Mwai Kumwenda opted not to shoot an easy one-point goal but turned the ball over looking to reset for a two-point Super Shot attempt.

The Giants surged down the court and could have taken the lead if not for the heroics of Vixens defender Emily Mannix, who took a flying intercept to give Melbourne possession back.

This time, Kumwenda nailed the one-pointer with less than 10 seconds left on the clock to give the Vixens a 55-54 lead.

From the ensuing centre pass, the Giants managed to get the ball to Sophie Dwyer, who nailed an off-balance Super Shot, but time had run out and the Vixens held on for a thrilling victory.

“That was unbelievable,” Vixens co-captain Liz Watson told Fox Netball post-game.

“We got ourselves in that sh*tty situation. To see that fight and hunger, we knew we were going to go all the way to the end and I’m so bloody excited from that.

“We’ve had such a great season. We’ve worked so hard all season, which got ourselves a double chance, which we obviously needed from last week’s performance.”

The Vixens were minor premiers but suffered a disappointing loss to the West Coast Fever in last weekend’s major semi-final.

They will get the chance to make amends when they travel to Perth to take on the Fever in next Sunday’s Grand Final.

“To finish top, it would have been so disappointing if we bombed out today, so excited for next week,” Watson said.

“They played their best game, we played our absolute worst game last week.

“Although we won today, it wasn’t pretty netball — so much to work on but we’re so excited to get there, it’ll be a really good training week, and we’re still going.”

The result continues a fairytale season for the Vixens, who were premiers in 2020 but claimed the wooden spoon last year.

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