Firebirds get 'kick up the bum' from Vixens
QUEENSLAND captain Gabi Simpson described last night's 66-50 flogging at the hands of the Melbourne Vixens at Boondall as one of the worst losses in recent Firebirds history.
But Simpson said the stunning Suncorp Super Netball result was the "kick up the bum'' the Firebirds needed.
The fumbling and bumbling Firebirds committed a remarkable 35 turnovers to hand victory to the impressive Vixens on a platter.
The sides entered the first match of the double-header at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre with the same record - two wins, one draw and a loss.
But they looked poles apart in class as the Vixens jumped the Firebirds early and never took the foot off the pedal, leading by six goals at quarter-time, 10 goals at halftime and 19 goals at the last change.
They simply owned the flat Firebirds.
Simpson said Queensland could not handle the heat from Melbourne.
"It just wasn't our best performance. There was a lot of errors. The Vixens were phenomenal in their pressure on every single ball and we just didn't take that very well,'' she said.
"Sometimes you just need to lose a couple and get a kick up the bum to really take a step in the right direction.
"There will be plenty of learnings from this...that was definitely one of the biggest losses I have had.
"You'll see next week that we will come back stronger.''
Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke was clearly displeased, benching internationals Gretel Tippett and Erin Burger during the error-riddled effort.
Mwai Kumwenda (41/43) and Tegan Philip (25/27) were dynamite at the attack end for the Vixens while Romelda Aiken (37/46) and Tippett (8/11) had forgettable outings in a badly beaten team.
The contest was over by three-quarter time when the Vixens blew the Firebirds off the court with 19 goals to 10 in the third term.
At one stage, Melbourne led by 20 goals to all but silence the normally rowdy Firebirds faithful as Queensland looked completely out of sorts.
The Vixens dominated the Firebirds in the first half and took a commanding 33-23 lead into the main break after Queensland got off to a sluggish start best typified by two consecutive airballs from Aiken in the early exchanges.