Magpies Netball coach Rob Wright has revealed that a back-to-basics approach helped inspire the club's maiden Super Netball victory against local challengers Melbourne Vixens.
The Magpies came into Monday's Melbourne derby off the back of consecutive losses, including a 16-goal defeat to the NSW Swifts that Wright could only describe as "horrible".
But Collingwood responded in the best way possible against their higher-ranked opponents, opening the match with eight of the first 11 goals then never allowing the Vixens to hit the front despite drawing level late in the second quarter.
"It was good to get a little less fancy and get back to some hard work and I thought we did that quite well," Wright said after the Magpies ground out a 55-52 win at Melbourne Arena.
"I think (the Vixens) are so clinical and if you don't get off to a decent start, I think they can put real pressure on the scoreboard against you."
The Magpies took the opening quarter 15-8, winning back possession on multiple occasions as they held the Vixens to their lowest-scoring quarter for the season.
The Vixens fought back in the second term but Collingwood maintained their advantage after halftime thanks to goal shooter Shimona Nelson.
The 195cm Jamaican goaler struggled in the second quarter before nailing 24 goals without a miss after halftime on her way to a game-high 48.
"I thought there were a couple of patches where she just lost her way a little bit but again, she responded well and she just hopefully keeps getting better and better," Wright said about Nelson.
"We know we are going to have some times where it's going to be a little bit up and down ... so I was pleased with how she responded because both of their keepers are world class."
While he was pleased with the way the Magpies hung tough against a quality opponent, Wright was not getting caught up in the emotion of their first derby win, preferring to focus on next Saturday's clash with the two-time defending champion Sunshine Coast Lightning.
"Next week now becomes even more important because we want to back it up again," he said.
"Unfortunately, we haven't gone two weeks in a row where we've won so we've really been up and down so it's a great opportunity to see if we get a little bit of momentum now."
Australian Associated Press