Vixens' Garbin shoots down understrength Giants

Sophie Garbin of the Vixens shoots Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Diamonds shooter Sophie Garbin sparkled as her Melbourne Vixens scored a strong 74-60 Super Netball win over an understrength Giants side at John Cain Arena.

The Vixens moved above West Coast to the top of the table for at least a couple of hours before Fever's game later on Saturday.

Vixens (7-1) never trailed against the Giants (2-6), who were without their co-captains, shooter Jo Harten (illness) and midcourter Jamie-Lee Price (knee).

Garbin made 51 goals off 55 shots and Kiera Austin 17 off 21 for a combined shooting percentage of 89 per cent.

They were well fed by Hannah Mundy and Kate Moloney.

The Vixens not only shot better, but were also more efficient in converting gains to goals, especially in the first half.

Garbin, who has formed a formidable combination with fellow Diamond Austin since moving across from the Collingwood Magpies, made three of four longer-range Super Shots, something she's not renowned for.

"I think the best teams have that two-shooter threat and not just one person taking those two (point shots)," Garbin told Fox Sport after the match.

"Obviously (Kip) Austin is so good at it, but if I can take some pressure off her (that helps)."

Vixens made six of nine Super Shots and the Giants eight from 15, though four of the away team's two-pointers came late in the final quarter when the match was effectively over.

The two teams went goal for goal early on, but an 8-0 run to the Vixens inside the last five minutes set up their 19-12 quarter-time lead.

Giants were outscored by two and five in the second and third quarters respectively and trailed by as much as 17 in the last term.

The away team battled to the end, tying the last quarter 21-21.

At halftime Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald replaced her wing attack and stand-in captain Maddie Hay with New Zealand international Gina Crampton, who has been training with the team since January.

Price was ruled out earlier in the week after suffering a minor knee injury, but Harten's withdrawal occurred shortly before Saturday's game.

"Jo started to feel a little unwell after lunch. We hoped with a bit of rest she would recover, but we realised quite late that wasn't going to happen," Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald told Fox.

Harten's replacement, Matisse Letherbarrow, shot 36 from 43 and Sophie Dwyer 16 from 21.