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The Wollongong Roller Hawks are hoping for big crowds as the team launches into a stretch of home games having played all but one of their opening 7 games on the road.

Despite the time spent away from home the Roller Hawks are boasting a perfect record this season and sit on top of the ladder but face their sternest test of the season with three games at the Snakepit, Beaton Park against perennial contenders, the Kilsyth Cobras this weekend, who currently sit in equal second.

No one knows what Kilsyth is capable of better than Shawn Russell who is back with the Roller Hawks after a stint playing with the Cobras.

“You can never write them off. They’re a good team, Tristan Knowles leads them around really well. On his day he can win or lose a game quite easily,” says Russell.

“They’ve got a few new young guys there that are really pushing hard and shooting well so I’d expect them to come out of the gates pretty much firing and trying to push us as hard as they can.”

The Roller Hawks have received a major boost with the early return of centre Michael Auprince. Since the conclusion of last year’s grand final, Auprince has been in America, studying and playing at the University of Alabama. He wasn’t expected back until after Round 3 but having completed his exams for the year early, opted to book an earlier flight home in time to take on Kilsyth.

“These guys have welcomed me back with open arms, they realise I’m a piece of how we won last year and hopefully we’ll win again this year,” says Auprince.

Auprince was the National Wheelchair Basketball League’s leading rebounder in 2017 and this year, while playing with Alabama won the national championship and was named tournament MVP.

Although only arriving back in Australia on Sunday, Auprince is expected to slot straight back into the rotation.

“I’m not really worried about how many minutes I’m going to get as long as we get three wins, that’s really all that matters to me.”

Auprince’s return a welcome one says Russell; the pair having played together at a national level.

“He can go in the key now and I can stay outside a bit more now. It’s good to have him back. He’s a workhorse, he always brings the morale of the team up, a big talker, hard pusher, just gets the job done.”


Friday May 4: ROLLER HAWKS vs KILSYTH COBRAS - 8pm @ Snakepit, Beaton Park

Saturday May 5: ROLLER HAWKS vs KILSYTH COBRAS - 6pm @ Snakepit, Beaton Park

Sunday May 6: ROLLER HAWKS vs KILSYTH COBRAS - 10am @ Snakepit, Beaton Park