A text exchange between Melbourne Vixens shooter Kiera Austin and diamonds icon Caitlin Bassett put an ugly moment in Saturday’s match between the Vixens and Giants in the spotlight.
Austin crashed into the goalposts during Vixens’ 66-63 victory, sparking controversy over whether he was pushed by his opponents.
In the final quarter, with Vixens leading by four goals, former teammate and Giants defender April Brandley was descending from the Austin baseline as he tried to force him into a straight post.
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Prior to the clash of the top-four, the pair were marked in the roundabout as a match-up.
Fortunately for Austin, despite the heavy contact, the returning Diamonds squad member was more upset than injured.
But Bassett wasn’t impressed by Brandley’s “love tap”, especially since Austin returned to his first season in 2021 after breaking his ACL.
“I actually texted him (Austin) about it,” Bassett told news.com.au.
“We were texting this morning. I said, ‘April you need a little love in the post?’, And she said, ‘Yes.’
“Look, it’s not something I like to see on netball. I know April very well and I know she’s a quality player so (I) was surprised to see something like that from her. The idea.
“Coming back from an ACL, I think he was absolutely incredible, started the season a bit slower but he is in a team that is challenging for the top spot at the moment and is sitting all season to rehabilitate it.”
“Kyra Austin, running the baseline, hit the post, didn’t miss,” former Australian captain Ann Sergeant said in a commentary for Fox Netball at the time of the incident.
“I don’t know if he really fell into close marking, but he certainly didn’t miss it. I think he’s still reeling.
“We will stay away from whether there was any ‘mild help’.”
At the top of the super netball ladder, the Vixens have one game left to clear and four rounds to play.
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