A petty response from one team last week to another’s border restrictions has been put in perspective on Monday with all Super Netball teams given huge movement restrictions.
Players and officials from all eight Super Netball teams have been placed on strict stay-at-home orders as the Covid-chaos impacting all sports leaves two games this weekend up in the air.
A playing hub could be on the cards too, for a second-straight season, with officials closely monitoring the evolving situation around the country
It comes as Netball Australia endeavours to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of last Sunday’s grand final rematch between the Vixens and Fever and the acrimonious fallout.
Three players caught in the crossfire after border restrictions left the reigning premiers unable to travel west explained themselves via social media as officials from both clubs prepared to give their version of events to investigators.
It’s understood the NA investigation will focus on the reasons behind the cancellation, not the much-criticised response from the Fever who, in a statement, said the Vixens had “refused to travel”.
The lack of compassion from the Fever for the plight of the Vixens, who finally returned home to Melbourne on Saturday having been forced on the road for five weeks to keep the season alive, remained a hot talking point on Monday.
It sets up for a fiery clash when the match is rescheduled, which remains the aim of officials.
Vixens captain Kate Maloney along with Jo Weston, who is also president of the netball players association, and defender Emily Mannix, all made their positions clear via social media.
“The Vixens along with other teams have already given up so much for the competition to continue,” Weston posted to Twitter.
“I would have done anything to have been out on court representing the club I love but can’t change what has happened.”
Maloney, Weston and Mannix were banned from entering WA given they visited Byron Bay during the club‘s bye.
Maloney said the season had “thrown so much at us” but they would continue to “fight, work hard and grow”.
The Vixens are set to be allowed to fly to Queensland for next weekend’s clash against the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
But two games, including the Fever’s clash with the Swifts, which is set to be played in Brisbane after both NSW teams relocated, and a clash in Adelaide between the Thunderbirds and Magpies, are yet to be locked in.
Unlike the AFL and NRL, the Super Netball teams do not have access to charter flights, making the logistic hurdles they need to overcome that much greater.
Netball Australia Interim CEO Ron Steiner said the league couldn’t rule out a hub, as border restrictions became increasingly challenging.
“We need to consider all options, including a hub, to protect the Suncorp Super Netball season,” Steiner said.
“The move to stay-at-home restrictions will firstly ensure the health and wellbeing of our players, staff and officials, as well as help us safeguard the season.”