WNBL Round 6 preview: Current and future star go head-to-head

Round 6 is nearing the halfway mark of the season and while there is still plenty of room for change on the ladder, teams will need to act soon if they want gain some momentum.

All eyes might be focused on the rematch between the Perth Lynx and the Melbourne Boomers, but it is not just the top teams that have big games coming up.

Sitting in fifth, seventh, and eighth respectively, the Sydney Flames, Adelaide Lightning, and UC Capitals will want to take advantage this round when they face off against each other. It will be interesting to see who rises to the top!

Player to watch

Cayla George

The Sydney Flames have not performed to the standard that many were expecting, but they have an opportunity this week to get a couple of wins to their name.

Cayla George will need to be at the top of her game to ensure the Flames can get a win over the Adelaide Lightning and the UC Capitals. After a what has been a huge 12 months for the reigning MVP, it is understandable that her form isn't where we are used to seeing it.

However, her competition in both of this week's opponents are younger and less experienced players. She should look to use her strength and her game IQ to her advantage when facing off against the likes of Issie Bourne of the Lightning and Alex Fowler of the UC Caps.

When she takes on Brianna Turner, watch her look for her 3-point shot. George being a more than capable outside threat, Turner will have to follow her and carry a hand, leaving a block free zone under the basket for other Flames players to attack.

Key matchup

Lauren Nicholson vs. Izzy Borlase

A WNBL star, with MVP honours and championships to her name, Loz Nicholson has had and continues to have a successful career in the league.

This week, she is likely to match up on a player at the opposite end of the spectrum, but who is set to achieve similar feats to that of Nicholson.

It's hard not to mention Borlase, her presence is felt every week on court, and she continues to be a constant menace to her opposition. Without the likes of Steph Talbot on the court for the Lightning, Borlase has stepped up into a big role, as the go-to player for her team.

She is yet to back down from a challenge and will relish the opportunity to take on Nicholson and put her skills to the test against a veteran of the league. Where Borlase is quick and agile, Nicholson is strong and smart -- this is sure to be a contest that heavily impacts the result of the game.

Game of the week

Adelaide Lightning vs. Sydney Flames

The Round 6 game of the week features two teams who will be desperate to get a win and elevate their position on the ladder. Both the Adelaide Lightning and the Sydney Flames have had less than desirable starts to the season and will be looking to make a change.

The Flames are coming off the back of a bye round and will be hoping to use their fresh legs to propel them towards a win. Whereas the Lightning will be wanting to bounce back from their tough overtime loss to the Bendigo Spirit and play well across all four quarters -- with the aim to seal the deal early and avoid playing a fifth.

The Flames will need to contain the pace that the Lightning plays at, getting back in defensive transition and avoiding falling into the pattern of taking quick shots. With the likes of Tess Madgen back, the team should be well equipped to get through their sets and both Madgen and Cayla George's leadership will be in high demand.

For the Lightning, they need to be aggressive offensively and avoid being stagnant, the faster they move the ball, the more likely their opponents will be on the back foot.


Adelaide Lightning vs. Sydney Flames, 6 DEC via ESPN

Perth Lynx vs. Melbourne Boomers, 7 DEC via 9NOW

UC Capitals vs. Sydney Flames, 8 DEC via 9NOW

Southside Flyers vs. Bendigo Spirit, 8 DEC via 9NOW

Adelaide Lightning vs. Perth Lynx, 10 DEC via 9NOW

UC Capitals vs. Townsville Fire, 10 DEC via 9NOW