ROUND 8 PREVIEW
Sydney Metro Blues v Wollongong Roller Hawks- Menai Indoor Sports Centre & Minto Indoor Sports Centre
5.00pm Friday 10th June (Menai Indoor Sports Centre)
12.30pm Saturday 11th June (Minto Indoor Sports Centre) and
11.00am Sunday 12th June (Minto Indoor Sports Centre)
The final round of the 2016 NWBL regular season tips-off in Sydney with the Blues desperate to avoid a winless run while Wollongong will be keen to boost their confidence heading into the finals.
The hosts showed signs of their determination last round against the Spinning Bullets falling by 17 points in their second meeting as Clarence McCarthy-Grogan starred.
Their average losing margin for the season is 31 points though and they will need production out of Anderson Parker and Gliders players Jess Cronje and Kylie Gauci to step up if they are to take a game away from the Roller Hawks this weekend.
The visitors impressed against Kilsyth in Round 7, defeating them soundly in the first clash before just falling in the dying stages the following day.
Those performances will give them hope heading into the finals but as they cannot move from third place, they may be conservative this weekend which will give Sydney a chance.
The form of Brett Stibners, Nick Taylor and Luke Pople, as well as the interior work of Michael Auprince should be enough to withstand whatever the Blues throw at them though.
Kilsyth Cobras v Be Active Perth Wheelcats- Kilsyth Sports Centre
6.00pm Saturday 11th June and
11.00am Sunday 12th June
The top two teams on the ladder will face off this weekend in what is potentially a preview of the Grand Final.
Kilsyth left the door ajar for Perth to snatch top spot last round as they dropped a game to Wollongong.
It may have been the wake-up they needed as they aim for back-to-back titles but with Tristan Knowles kept quiet in their loss, the Wheelcats have been given the blueprint as to how to attack them.
The Cobras proved too good for them when these sides last met in Round 1, winning by 11 points as they recorded six more assists and shot 54% from the field compared to Perth’s 46%.
Knowles (41 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) went head-to-head in that clash with Shaun Norris (38 points, 12 boards, nine assists) and the two national players will be keen to go to battle again after spending a week together at the recent Rollers camp.
Their individual scoring battle will go a long way to determining a winner but the support from Dan Del Toso and Shawn Russell for the Cobras and Amber Merritt and Kim Robins for the Wheelcats could decide the outcome for the weekend.