ROUND 4 PREVIEW
Sydney Metro Blues v Perth Wheelcats- Friday 18th May @5pm
Sydney Metro Blues v Perth Wheelcats- Saturday 19th May @7pm
An extended round this weekend will see the Blues and Wheelcats play four games each with two series split into two games apiece, starting on Friday night when they face each other.
The Blues currently sit fifth on the ladder but will be carrying form into this contest as they have won their past two games. Those victories coincided with the arrival of CJ McCarthy-Grogan but they have also welcomed Anderson Parker and Darren Skuse who are averaging double-figures in scoring alongside him.
That will certainly help their offence against a high-scoring outfit like the Wheelcats but Sydney Metro own the league-worst defence at the moment, giving up 81 points per game, and that is the area they will need to focus on this weekend.
Perth easily took care of them in Round 1, 83-35, as Shaun Norris (24 points, 11 assists) and Thomas McHugh (16 points, 15 rebounds) recorded double-doubles while Andrew Dewberry top-scored with 25 points. The Blues are an improved team since that clash two months ago but will still find the going tough in containing those players.
Sydney Metro Blues v Red Dust Heelers- Saturday 19th May @11am
Sydney Metro Blues v Red Dust Heelers- Sunday 20th May @1pm
Surrounding those two games against the Wheelcats, Sydney Metro will battle the Heelers who are back on court for the first time since Round 1.
All four of the Blues’ games will be played at home this weekend which will give them a boost but the Heelers have already defeated the hosts once this year, on opening night when they succeeded 59-32.
Rob Pike and Jake Kavanagh had double-doubles, combining for 35 points and 28 rebounds while Tony Wade also showcased his talents, adding eight points and five rebounds.
Having played at least five less contests than every other team, this is an important round for Red Dust to get themselves in the race for the top four but they also begin a difficult finish to the season as they get set to play 14 games in seven weeks leading into the playoffs.
Red Dust Heelers v Wollongong Rollerhawks- Friday 18th May @7pm
Wollongong Rollerhawks v Red Dust Heelers- Saturday 19th May @5pm
A bottom vs. top clash will be a tough ask for Red Dust but they will be buoyed by the expected addition of Australian Roller Jannik Blair to their roster for this round.
Last year’s Low-Point MVP, Blair was a critical member of the Heelers’ 2017 campaign, playing a full 40 minutes in 11 out of 18 games while finishing with career highs for points (7.3), rebounds (3.1) and hitting more field goals than any previous season.
Josh Turek is another who could make his debut this weekend and if he does play alongside Blair, the ladder-leading Rollerhawks could find the going very tough. Turek is an experienced campaigner who has played in the USA and Europe while winning a Paralympic bronze medal with the USA in 2012 before claiming gold at Rio two years ago.
Wollongong were 75-44 victors when they met Red Dust in Round 1 as Brett Stibners scored 23 points and Luke Pople had a triple-double of 12 points, ten rebounds and ten assists but it could be a much closer battle on Friday and Saturday night.
Wollongong Rollerhawks v Perth Wheelcats- Saturday 19th May @9am
Wollongong Rollerhawks v Perth Wheelcats- Sunday 20th May @11am
The Rollerhawks owned an eight-game winning streak a third of the way through Round 3 and a Friday night win over Kilsyth would have had them full of confidence. They crashed back to Earth with consecutive defeats to the Cobras though and now sit only two points clear on top of the ladder.
With Kilsyth not playing in Round 4, Wollongong will gain a bit of breathing room regardless of the result of their four games but if they can get back on the winners list, they will have a significant advantage with only four games left in their regular season.
Perth fell by 40 points in their last meeting with the Rollerhawks and Shaun Norris (13 points, six rebounds, five assists) was outplayed by Rollers team mate Stibners who had a monster game of 40 points, 15 boards and ten assists.
That will be burning in the memory of Norris but he will need help from the likes of Dewberry and McHugh to get the job done against the current ladder-leaders.