Caitlin Basset reaction, Kiera Austin Melbourne Vixens pushed into goalpost April Brandley GWS Giants

A text exchange between Melbourne Vixens shooter Kiera Austin and Diamonds icon Caitlin Bassett has put an ugly moment in Saturday’s match between the Vixens and Giants in the spotlight.

Austin crashed into the goalpost during the Vixens 66-63 win, igniting debate over whether she was pushed by her opponent.

In the final quarter, with the Vixens leading by four goals, Austin was driving down the baseline trying to run into space when ex-teammate and Giants defender April Brandley forced her directly into the post.

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Prior to the top-four clash, the pair was flagged as a must-see matchup in the goal circle.

Fortunately for Austin, despite the heavy contact, the returning Diamonds squad member appeared more annoyed than hurt.

But Bassett was not impressed by Brandley’s “love tap”, especially given Austin is in her first season back after rupturing her ACL in 2021.

“I actually messaged her (Austin) about it,” Bassett told news.com.au.

“We were texting this morning. I said, ‘April give you a little love tap into the post?’, And she said, ‘Yeah’.

“Look, it’s not something I love to see in netball. I know April really well and I know she’s a quality player so (I was) surprised to see something like that from her. But it’s just lucky Kiera was not hurt I guess .

“Coming back from an ACL, I think she’s been absolutely incredible, bit of a slow start to the season but she’s in the team thats challenging for top position on the ladder at the moment and that’s coming off sitting out a whole season doing rehab. “

“Kiera Austin, running the baseline… hit the post… did not miss,” former Australian captain Anne Sargeant said in a commentary for Fox Netball at the time of the incident.

“I do not know whether she was actually run into it by close marking but certainly did not miss. I think she’s still reeling.

“We’ll stay out of whether there was some ‘gentle assistance’ or not.”

The Vixens sit one game clear at the top of the Super Netball ladder with four rounds left to play.

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