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By Aimee Dawson

The Melbourne Vixens have suffered their third loss in a row, losing to the Queensland Firebirds in last year’s Grand Final rematch.

The Vixens, playing their first game without gun wing-attack Madison Robinson, went down to last year’s runners-up by seven goals, 55 – 48.

Robinson suffered a knee injury in last week’s game against the West Coast Fever and revealed during the week that she had ruptured her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), ending her season.

Robinson’s injury allowed for her sister, Kelsey Browne, to make her ANZ Championship debut as Robinson’s temporary replacement player.

Browne took the court in the second half of the match and finished with eight goal assists and 14 feeds.

Vixens’ midcourter Chloe Watson also made her ANZ Championship debut, playing in the second quarter of the match.

The Firebirds were fast out of the blocks, scoring the first three goals of the match.

Some quick goals from the Vixens’ shooters saw the home team hit the lead at the six minute mark of the first quarter.

The Firebirds dominated from there on, leading by as much as 10 goals in the final quarter.

The Firebirds lead the statistics, with almost 20 more goal attempts, 13 more rebounds, seven more intercepts and seven more deflections than the Vixens.

Firebirds centre Kimberley Ravaillion was named MVP of match, finishing the game with 11 goal assists, 23 feeds and one intercept.

In other games this round, the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic defeated the Southern Steel, 63 – 57, the Adelaide Thunderbirds caused the upset of the round defeating the NSW Swifts, 56 – 49, and the West Coast Fever continue their unbeaten run by defeating the Canterbury Tactix, 66 – 51.

Next round will see the Queensland Firebirds hosting the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty Magic, the NSW Swifts take on the Northern Mystics, the Melbourne Vixens host the Southern Steel, the Central Pulse take on the top-of-the-ladder West Coast Fever and the Canterbury Tactix host the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

Image courtesy of The Advertiser