WNBL Round 3 preview: Battle of the undefeated

Round 3 will see only one other team stay undefeated alongside the Bendigo Spirit, with the game of the week featuring top sides the Townsville Fire and the Southside Flyers. Although it is early in the season, getting momentum and confidence, not to mention a head start, could prove to be crucial down the track. There are equally some teams who will face off this round that have an opportunity to find some rhythm and build on what might not have been their ideal start to the season.

Game of the Week - Townsville vs Southside

The game of the week must go to the battle of the undefeated. Both the Townsville Fire and the Southside Flyers have been in top form to begin with, making big improvements from last season.

The small but mighty Steph Reid has been turning heads for the Fire in her first two games. Snaking her way to the basket, and throwing dimes to her teammates, she has really stood out as the difference in her team. Lauren Nicholson had an outstanding first game, posting 35 points - reminding everyone of what she is capable of -- however, in a much quieter second game, it was Karlie Samuelson who showed us her hot hand with 20 points against Adelaide Lightning.

The Fire will be competitive on the guard front and will surely be confident going in, but it is the inside game that will really dictate who leaves the game a winner. The combination of Lauren Jackson and Kayla Thornton is a daunting task, not to forget the dynamic Sara Blicavs. This will be especially tough if Zitina Aukuso isn't suiting up (yet to be confirmed).

The Fire will have their hands full defensively, but if able to knock down shots and with the home crowd behind them, they could pull off a confidence boosting win. Tune into the action live on ESPN/Kayo.

Two determined teams will face off in what is a winnable game for both - Sydney vs. Perth

If Sydney wants a chance to redeem themselves after last week and get a better start to the season, this could be their chance. Perth have only won one game and seem to be heavily relying on Sami Whitcomb. Shutting her down is no easy task, but with Sydney's focus on defence, particularly from their guards, they could do enough to minimise points from the Opals superstar.

The Flames will need to find their shooting rhythm early on and find a way to contain Lauren Scherf in the key, a hefty task considering their lack of size. The Lynx should look to dominate in this respect, with not just Scherf, but Alex Sharp and Chloe Bibby carrying decent size.

Will Adelaide finally get a win? Or Will Sydney swoop in for the steal?

This will be Sydney's second away game of the round, and the result of their first game is likely to affect how they will go in this clash against the Lightning.

On paper, the Lightning are the stronger team, Steph Talbot is in great form and will be a tough match up for the Flames to handle. However, her team haven't been able to keep their opponents to under 80 points. This highlights what could be a significant fault - their defence.

If the Flames can take advantage of this and light it up offensively, they very well could be in with a chance. They have only played one game, but they did manage to contain the undefeated Bendigo Spirit to their lowest score out of their three games. If the Flames aren't too fatigued from their Wednesday night clash against the Perth Lynx, then their defence could be what helps them get over the line.

In saying that, the Lightning won't go down easy, it's their first home game of the season and they are sure to be dogged in their attempt get a win on the board.


Townsville vs. Southside, 5:30pm, Wednesday, 16 November, Townsville Entertainment Centre

Perth vs Sydney, 6:30pm, Wednesday, 16 November, Bendat Basketball Centre

Adelaide vs Sydney, 7pm, Saturday, 19 November, Adelaide Arena

Melbourne vs UC Capitals, 3pm, Sunday, 20 November, Melbourne Sports Centre - Parkville