ROUND 1 PREVIEW
Preview Round 1 of the 2016 WNWBL season with Sydney hosting the weekend.
Friday 17th June -
Sydney Metro Blues v Minecraft Qld Comets
Sydney will have the added bonus of playing in front of a home crowd when they take on the Comets in the season opener to the 2016 WNWBL campaign. Previously known as the Bears, the Blues boast five Gliders players on their roster but the match-up to watch will be Bridie Kean and Cobi Crispin playing against their old side.
Be Active Western Stars v Kilsyth Cobras
In a replay of the 2015 Grand Final, the Stars will be seeking revenge following their 15-point loss. Only Clare Nott will be missing from the main core of the Cobras team that won the title last season but Amber Merritt looms as the x-factor for the Stars after scoring 30 points in the Grand Final and averaging 11 points per game in this year’s NWBL season.
Saturday 18th June -
Minecraft Qld Comets v Sydney Uni Flames
Backing up 16 hours after their game on the opening night, the Comets will once again face a team with home crowd support. Without their two best scorers from last season, Queensland will rely on the likes of Shelley Cronau to step up while Japanese national Erika Yoshida will need to perform if the Comets are to be a threat once again this season.
Sydney Metro Blues v Kilsyth Cobras
The second game of the weekend for both sides will begin to test their depth and stamina but with five new faces, it will be interesting to see how Kilsyth fare as they look to maintain their amazing unbeaten run from 2015. The Blues’ conditioning will be aided with three of their players having competed in the NWBL this year.
Sydney Uni Flames v Be Active Western Stars
While they avoid a game on Friday night, the Flames will be tested with a second game on Saturday, just four hours after their battle with the Comets. A bevy of experienced players, led by Sarah Stewart and Hannah Dodd, should be able to help guide Sydney through a tough day but the Stars will look to attack them early.
Kilsyth Cobras v Minecraft Qld Comets
It was an exciting contest when these teams met in the Semi-Final last season as Kilsyth escaped with a three-point victory thanks to nine more assists. The Comets did get to the line ten more times though, thanks in part to Ella Sabljak who will need to attack the Cobras defence just as aggressively this weekend if they are to reverse the Semi-Final result.
Sydney Metro Blues v Be Active Western Stars
Both sides will be playing their second game of the day but with two less hours to back up, the Blues may be at a disadvantage. They will resume hostilities after playing off in the Semi-Final last season when the Stars recorded a thrilling one-point win. Merritt, Sarah Vinci and Georgia Inglis all collected ten rebounds each in that clash and the advantage on the glass could prove the difference again this round.
Sunday 19th June -
Sydney Uni Flames v Kilsyth Cobras
In the final game of the opening round for the Cobras, they face the team that finished at the bottom of the ladder last season. The Flames will have something to prove but slowing down Alice Hammond and Leanne Del Toso is easier said than done.
Minecraft Qld Comets v Be Active Western Stars
The Stars booked their place in last year’s Grand Final when they defeated the Comets by a point in the Preliminary Final despite attempting seven less field goals. That efficiency from Merritt and Inglis will be required again on Sunday but a second game in 17 hours to finish the weekend could hamper them.
Sydney Metro Blues v Sydney Uni Flames
Round 1 culminates with a clash between the two hosts and after a busy weekend, it will be interesting to see which team receives more support. The Flames are playing their second game in four hours which is a tough way to finish the weekend while the Blues will not have played since the night before.