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The Roller Hawks face one final challenge before the NWBL Finals begin in August and it will be their toughest test yet.


The Roller Hawks travel to Melbourne on Saturday to take on the Kilsyth Cobras in two games. The Cobras currently sit in second place behind the ladder leading Roller Hawks.

The Roller Hawks defeated Kilsyth in the opening round 77-69 and are coming off three wins against Perth a fortnight ago.

“Our game plan [against Perth] was probably very similar to what we’re going to do against Melbourne this weekend,” says Roller Hawks centre Michael Auprince.

“I think we’ve grown as a team this year, I’m excited to see what we can do,”

“We’ve played against these guys for years. Tristan Knowles, Shawn Russell are both ex-Roller Hawks players so we know what they want to do.”

“Tristan wants to shoot the ball whenever he can, Shawn Russell wants to get inside so if we limit the opportunities for those kind of shots we should be pretty good.”

Knowles sits second in the league for points per game (27.31) and first in assists (13.08). He also leads the league in three point percentage and three pointers made, an area Wollongong had to adjust to against the Wheelcats.

“Perth forced us to change our ‘D’ mid-game to address scoring that our scouting didn’t identify,” says Roller Hawks head coach Brendan Cowler.

“We were able to do that and showed improvements in all games over the weekend.”

“We beat Kilsyth in the first round but both teams have developed since then so we can’t take much from that, they will be very tough on their home court.”

The Roller Hawks boast four players in the league’s top 10 scorers with Auprince leading the league in rebounding with 12.31 per game.

“I’m doing whatever I can do win. If I need to score points I’ll score points. If I need to rebound the ball and play defence I’ll do that. I’ll do whatever I can to win,” says Auprince.

Wollongong have the bye in the final round of the regular season and are assured of a top two finish regardless of this weekend’s results. Kilsyth have Sydney in close pursuit and will be looking to avoid dropping any games which would jeopardise a second chance in the Finals.

The top two finishers meet in the first game of finals with the winner advancing directly to the Grand Final while the loser gets a second chance.



Saturday July 22: KILSYTH COBRAS vs ROLLER HAWKS - 4:00pm @ Kilsyth Sports Centre, VIC

Sunday July 23: KILSYTH COBRAS vs ROLLER HAWKS - 12pm @ Kilsyth Sports Centre, VIC