West Coast Fever have hit out at the Melbourne Vixens, claiming theÂ defending Super Netball champions “refused” to fly to Western Australia for Sunday’s grand final rematch.
- Three Vixens players visitedÂ Byron BayÂ last weekend and WA says any travel to NSW is a risk
- The Vixens said they attempted to find replacement players but they were also denied entry to WA
- Netball Australia cancelled the match after discussions with both clubs
The match was called off after three Vixens players were denied an exemption to enter Western Australia.
“West Coast Fever is extremely disappointed that Melbourne Vixens have refused to travel to Perth for our fixture at RAC Arena,” the Fever said in a statement.
“This is not in the best interests of the competition and devastating for our club, members, sponsors and fans.
“We are awaiting a ruling from Netball Australia on what this means in regards to the result of the game.”
The Vixens were scheduled to travel to Perth from their Queensland hub today.
TheyÂ travelled to Sydney for their round-seven match against Collingwood on June 12, with three players visiting Byron Bay in northern New South Wales over the bye round last weekend before returning toÂ QueenslandÂ on Monday.
Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from June 25Â with a look back at our blog
The three playersÂ travelled to New South Wales “in compliance with the health advice at the time”, according to Netball Australia (NA).
Despite players and staff not visiting any COVID-19 exposure site or being a close contact, the changing border restrictions into Western Australia now stipulate that any travel from New South Wales in the last 14 days is a risk.
The Vixens told the ABC they attempted to find replacement players from Victoria but they were also denied entry to Western Australia.Â
NSW COVID-19 exposure sites
As NSW continues into the “scariest period” of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact tracers are working overtime to keep on top of the growing list of exposure sites.
The match was cancelled by NA, who said they hadÂ “discussed a number of options with both clubs”.
It remains unclear whether the match will merely be rescheduled, or whether the Vixens will have to forfeit.
Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich said the match should be declared a forfeit, with her team to receiveÂ the competition points, or staged later in the season.
“It’s a forfeit for me andÂ we get those points,” she said.
“Or the game’s rescheduled and we’ve got to find a place where we can manage the players’ loads, make sure that we don’t enhance injuries [during] such a late part of the season and that we actually can get the opportunity to get the points.”
The Vixens, who beat West Coast 66-64 in last year’s grand final, are bottom of the ladder with just one win from seven matches.
The Fever have won all seven of their matches this season, but their three-match penalty for past salary cap breaches means they are fourth on the ladder.