THE sixth round of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is just around the corner, with fans of the competition eager to see what lies in store for the upcoming week. Last round saw sides such as the Capitals finish the year in style, while others found themselves with plenty of work to do moving forward. This week will see the top two sides in the Lightning and the Capitals look to keep their spot at the top of the standings, while their peers will be looking to close the gap.
Sydney Uni Flames
The first match of the round will see the Sydney Uni Flames travel to the National Convention Centre Canberra to take on the UC Capitals on Wednesday night in a clash that will have interesting stakes moving for both sides moving forward.
The Capitals have enjoyed a terrific start to the season thus far, winning three of their first four matches to find themselves in second spot on the ladder. They have delivered a number of impressive victories over the opening weeks and will be looking to continue this momentum this week against a struggling side. Keep an eye on Brittney Sykes, who has impressed with an average of 17.5 points per game so far this season.
On the other hand, the Flames have struggled to start their 2021/22 campaign, and are yet to secure a win from their opening three outings. They will be looking to turn their season around as soon as possible, and while they face a tough opponent this week, it would be remiss to rule them out already, especially considering they boast the talents of Shyla Heal, who can hit the scoreboard in a big way.
The second clash of round 6 will see the reigning champion Southside Flyers play host to the Perth Lynx at Dandenong Stadium on Thursday night, as they look to get their season back on track in a big way.
The Flyers have been slightly underwhelming to start the season, given the heights they reached in the 2021 season. They have broken even with two wins and two losses coming from their first four matches, but will be looking to find themselves with a positive record with a win this week, but will need to recapture the form that delivered them a championship last year. Rebecca Cole will likely play a key role in orchestrating the team’s offence, given her 19.5 points per game average to date.
The Lynx were finally able to start their season last weekend, with the side falling by two points to the Adelaide Lightning in heartbreaking fashion. Despite the loss, it was evident that this side will be causing some serious damage in their matchups, and will be aiming to do just that against the reigning champs. Import Marina Mabrey kicked off her WNBL career in amazing fashion last week, pouring in 30 points in her debut, and is one to watch again this week for fans.
In what should be an intriguing clash, the Adelaide Lightning will head north to the Townsville Entertainment Centre to take on the Townsville Fire as they look to keep their spot on top of the ladder on Friday night.
The Fire have managed to break even so far in their start to the season, with two wins coming from their four outings to star the season. They will be looking to turn this into a positive record this week, but face a tough task as they take on the ladder leaders. If they are to shock the competition and cause an upset, then they will need to be firing on all cylinders on both ends of the floor for all four quarters.
The Lightning have proven the team to beat to start this season, planting themselves on top of the ladder as they make a charge towards championship favouritism. The have won three of their first four matches and have delivered a style of play that can win matches on a weekly basis. However, with this success comes the weight of expectation, so they will still need to be at the top of their game if they are to cement themselves at the top of the standings by the end of the sixth round.
Sydney Uni Flames
The next match of the round will see the Sydney Uni Flames welcome the Perth Lynx to the Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium when the two teams face off on Saturday afternoon. This is each team’s second match of the round and should be a cracking contest.
The Melbourne Boomers will hit the court for the first time this round when they host the UC Capitals at Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium on Saturday evening. This will be the Capitals’ second match of the round following their clash with the Flames.
The Boomers have had quite a positive start to the 2021/22 season, winning four of their first six games and finding themselves in third spot on the ladder. They appear to have found a game style that wins games, but were bested by the Lightning in round 5. They face another tough opponent this week in the Capitals, but have shown this season that they have the game plan and personnel to emerge victorious, especially if Tiffany Mitchell can keep up her early season form that has delivered a number of wins for her side.
Moving to Sunday’s action, the Southside Flyers will travel to the Lights Community and Sports Centre to take on the red hot Adelaide Lightning in what should be an enthralling battle. This is the second outing of the round of both of these teams.
The final match of the round will see the Townsville Fire play host to the Bendigo Spirit as the two sides go head-to-head at Townsville Entertainment Centre on Sunday evening. This will be Townsville’s second match of the round after their game against the Lightning.
The Spirit have vastly improved on their efforts from last season, having already won a match in their first four games so far in the 2021/22 season. They will enter this match as underdogs, but will be eagerly seeking their second win as they look to announce themselves as a finals contender for the season. They will also be fresh from a week off following the postponement of their round 5 clash against the Flames. Look for Anneli Maley to prove a dominant figure on the offensive end, as she has done many times in the past.