EasiYo Tactix v Melbourne Vixens

The Canterbury Tactix claim to have taken big strides this season in the trans-Tasman netball competition, but last night was a major step back.

They were crushed 65-41 by the Melbourne Vixens at CBS Canterbury Arena and while it was a top of the table v bottom of the table match-up, the home side were well below par.

The Tactix were never going to be competition winners this year or even serious contenders for the playoffs, but they had been showing more fight than the last couple of seasons and were on the improve.

Last night's shellacking was a throwback to the bad old days and, for a while at least, the number crunchers were double checking to see what the Tactix's biggest loss was.

It's 43 for the record and while that was never under serious threat, neither was a Tactix upset.

The coaching staff won't be able to focus too heavily on any one aspect of their game this week at training because it all needs work.

"It was across the board," assistant coach Julie Seymour said when asked what went wrong.

"In patches, each area of the court struggled, at times we went well and played some really nice netball, but we're lacking that consistency."

She said she wasn't frustrated with the performance, but head coach Leigh Gibbs must have been when she made change after change and the same mistakes were being made.

It really was just one of those nights for the Tactix.

Passes missed their mark, tips went to the opposition instead of Tactix players and the home side had no answer to a confident and in control Vixens outfit.

Even sharp shooter Jo Harten had an off night.

"Frustrated's probably not the word," Seymour said. "I'm disappointed today with our performance because I don't think we showed what we're capable of out there.

"But the Vixens are a good side and it's good for our players to be reminded what it's like to play a good team."

The Tactix will need to learn how to deal with good sides quickly because next week will likely be harder still as they take on the defending champion Queensland Firebirds, in Brisbane.

While the Tactix were bad last night, the Vixens were very good and showed why they're the top side in the competition.

They were dominant on attack and their defensive threat never waned as they put pressure on every pass.

Tactix goal attack Ellen Halpenny was the lone bright light from last night's game for the Red and Blacks.

Admittedly, the 21-year-old had no pressure on her coming on with the game already lost at the three-quarter mark and her side down by 21, but she was impressive.

She played with more confidence than she's showed at this level in the past, landed 11 or her 12 attempts and did enough to earn a starting spot next week.

As for the rest of the side, they will probably want to forget last night's game as quickly as possible, but watching it again might be the punishment they deserve.

Melbourne Vixens 65  (Karyn Howarth 28/34 82.4%, Tegan Caldwell 29/29 100%, Kate Beveridge 8/11 72.7 %) Canterbury Tactix 41(Jo Harten 20/30 66.7%, Anna Thompson 10/13 76.9%, Ellen Halpenny 11/12 91.7%). 1Q: 14-11, 2Q: 19-9, 3Q: 17-9, 4Q: 15-12.


Article courtesy of Matt Richens at The Press