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Communication will be the key when the Wollongong Roller Hawks take on the NWBL’s defending champions, the Kilsyth Cobras this weekend.



Kilsyth will be looking to take top spot on the ladder as well as avenge their only loss of the season while the Roller Hawks have the opportunity to move into third place after securing a playoff berth last weekend.


The Cobras are on an 8 game winning streak since losing to the Roller Hawks 66-67 in the Round 1 Cluster Round.


Tristan Knowles has been pivotal in the Cobras’ charge averaging 28.5 points per game (second in the league) and leading the league in assists (10.8 apg).


“Countering Tristan’s game and limiting others output will be critical,” said Roller Hawks coach Jim Williams.




The Cobras boast three players in the league’s top 10 scorers with Knowles well supported by Daniel Tel Toso (16.7ppg) and Shaun Russell (16.5ppg).


“We must communicate on defence and work as a group. Clear communication is the key!”


Williams remained tight lipped on who would match up against Knowles but Brett Stibner’s output will play a large part in countering Knowles’ game.


In a side that plays a very team oriented style with multiple scoring options, Stibners is currently ranked 5th in the league for both scoring (24.7ppg) and assists (5.4apg).


Stibners leads the league in free throw percentage (88%) and it was two free throws from the Roller Hawks captain late in their Round 1 match that sealed the win for Wollongong.


Meanwhile new recruit Sam White has had time to settle in with the Roller Hawks after playing his first game last weekend just a day after arriving in the country.


“Fitting into the team has been good” said White. “It’s always a challenge to jump right into a game but I have played with a lot of the guys in the (Australian) Rollers team a few times so it helps to have that experience to work with.”


Despite knowing a number of his teammates, adjusting to the team’s training has been a new experience for the 28 year old.


“It’s a bit different from the practices that I have been used to with the team back in the US. In the US the team is full of students so the practice set up is different. Here we have guys with full time jobs and other commitments.”


“For instance I’m used to practice at 6:30am whereas here we’re on at 7pm. It’s different getting used to practice at night.”


Immediately following Sunday’s game, White along with Brett Stibners, Luke Pople, Michael Auprince and Tim Markcrow will jump in the car and head straight to Canberra for a 3-Day Training Camp with the Australian Rollers.

Saturday May 28: ROLLER HAWKS vs KILSYTH COBRAS - 5pm @ Shellharbour City Stadium

Sunday May 29: ROLLER HAWKS vs KILSYTH COBRAS - 12pm @ Shellharbour City Stadium