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The Wollongong Roller Hawks have secured the NWBL minor premiership after a comprehensive win over the Kilsyth Cobras on Saturday afternoon.

The combination of good passing and strong play inside by Michael Auprince resulted in the Roller Hawks racing to a 49-26 lead at halftime, one which Kilsyth could not cut back in the second half.

Strong defensive pressure, the ever present mantra of the Roller Hawks in 2017, forced the league’s leading three point shooter Tristan Knowles to put up a season high 12 three point attempts including his opening three shots of the game.

Whilst Knowles managed to finish the game with 27 points it was on 8 from 24 attempts (33%) well down on his season average of 51% from the field.


The former Roller Hawk had little support from his teammates with Shawn Russell playing just 13 minutes and scoring 3 points after recently returning from overseas while the side as a whole shot only 37% for the night.

Wollongong meanwhile were in sync, lead by Auprince with 26 points (12/14 shooting) and 14 rebounds and Nick Taylor who had 23 points and 14 assists.

“Aupie was huge again for us, getting inside and shooting a high percentage,” said Roller Hawks captain Brett Stibners.

“Nick Taylor was also outstanding. He didn’t hesitate and shot very well.”

The Roller Hawks outrebounded the hosts 39-27 and had 32 assists compared to the Cobras’ 15.

“In offence we moved the ball around and found the open person.”

“Our bench came on and contributed as well. Clay (Kelly) came on and made some good shots and Hannah’s (Dodd) defence was strong.”

The Cobras bounced back in Sunday’s game as the Roller Hawks were forced to contend with playing without Stibners who had to fly back to Wollongong early.

The absence of Stibners cost the Roller Hawks who trailed at every break with Kilsyth shooting at a much higher percentage (53%) compared to the previous day and finishing with four scorers in double figures lead by Knowles with 20 points.

The Roller Hawks struggled to find the bottom of the net shooting the ball at just 37% and losing the rebounding count 30-40.

Auprince again lead the scoring with 21 points to go with 8 rebounds.

The Roller Hawks will now enjoy the bye in Round 8 as the rest of the league battle for final positions before the Finals begin on the 18th of August.

Other results over the weekend saw Queensland and Sydney split their two games against each other while Perth cruised to comfortable wins against Adelaide.

The Queensland Spinning Bullets’ 72-65 win over Sydney on Saturday night means they hold onto fourth place and can guarantee their place in finals if they can beat Adelaide who are yet to win a game this season.

Perth have a much harder task in the last round and must win all three games against the Sydney Metro Blues to qualify for the finals. Sydney will need to win just one game against Perth to secure their berth in the finals.


Game 1 - Friday August 18: 1 vs 2 - 6:00pm @ Kilsyth Stadium

Game 2 - Friday August 18: 3 vs 4 - 8:00pm @ Kilsyth Stadium

Game 3 - Saturday August 19: Loser Game 1 vs Winner Game 2 - 6:00pm @ Kilsyth Stadium

Game 4 - Sunday August 20: Loser Game 2 vs Loser Game 3 - 11:00am @ Kilsyth Stadium

Game 5 - Sunday August 20: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 3 - 1:00pm @ Kilsyth Stadium