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WNBL Rd2: Time to watch Flames erupt

A FIRST-round bye means this weekend will be the first chance for WNBL fans to take a good look at Sydney Flames and it will be a challenging opening match for them against the 2-0 Spirit in Bendigo, who already have Kelsey Griffin and Anneli Maley flying, and Kelly Wilson directing traffic.

Unlike the NBL where it has meant precious little, home court counted for something last week, only Melbourne (in Perth) and Bendigo (in Canberra) claiming road scalps.

That further adds a degree of difficulty for Sydney.

Champion Melbourne also has a tough task this round against Southside and Adelaide who last round fought out a classic 99-91 clash at the State Basketball Centre.





ONE of the WNBL's greatest rivalries, Southside hosting Melbourne to launch Round 2 should be another gem of a contest, but with the odds stacked in the Flyers' favour. Their depth is astonishing when you can bring players such as an MVP Abby Bishop or championship-winner Carly Ernst deep off your bench. The Boomers will make this a contest but ultimately Southside should have too much weaponry.

TOWNSVILLE could not have been more impressive smacking Canberra last week but Adelaide also showed it would be a contender this season, Izzy Borlase a genuine "find" and Steph Talbot still to hit her straps. The backcourt matchups could be key as Lauren Niocholson and Steph Reid owned the Caps. Inside the Lightning should expect more from Jacinta Monroe. This should be a top clash.

THE Flames will be raring to go when they hit Bendigo after copping a Round 1 bye. What that did do was give Sydney two matches to scout the Spirit and it should be ready to jump into action. Having enjoyed wins over Canberra and Perth, Bendigo will find Sydney much tougher going as most have the Flames among their finals fancies. But experience does count.

BEATEN twice in the first round, at home first and then away, Perth and Canberra will be fired up to break through here, making for a torrid contest. The Caps now have had a chance to adapt to the loss of Gemma Potter (ACL) but losing Jade Melbourne for upto three weeks with an ankle injury is a double sting. As coach Kristen Veal chases her maiden victory, curtailing Whitcomb and Atwell will be the big challenge.

DEPARTED from Adelaide and now helming Melbourne, Chris Lucas faces his former club and promoted assistant Nat Hurst for initial bragging rights. Lightning looked good even in defeat last week but the Boomers also were able to dig deep, rattling up 104 points on the road. That's impressive. 

Nov 9

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