Game of The Week – N/W Tasmania Thunder v Hobart Chargers
Saturday 14th April- 7:30pm @ Schweppes Arena
The Tasmanian intrastate rivalry reignites on Saturday night with the latest instalment in the series between the N/W Tasmania Thunder and Hobart Chargers.
Both teams hosted Kilsyth in Round 1 and the Chargers fell by eight points while the Thunder got over the line by two points with the Cobras missing a chance to tie the game late. Scoring just 72, N/W Tasmania had to rely on their defence to succeed and their effort will please coach Sam Armstrong but with the arrival of Mason Bragg this weekend, their offence will receive a significant boost through his scoring and passing ability.
Hobart only scored 72 themselves but could not restrict Kilsyth at the other end, giving up 80 points while allowing them to shoot 46% from the field. Tre Nichols shone in his debut though, scoring 25 points, which sets up a thrilling contest against Bragg in the back court while Craig Moller (22 points, 17 rebounds) will look to own the glass against the Thunder forwards whose highest individual rebound tally last week was Ben Richmond’s six.
Hobart have had the recent wood over their Tasmanian rivals, winning the past four meetings dating back to 2016. However, the Thunder enjoyed a run of five consecutive victories in the series before that and over the past ten years, each team has taken 11 wins from the 22 clashes.
One important aspect for the Chargers is an average winning margin of 22.1 points across those 11 victories and that includes a thrashing in their first meeting last year when the Thunder scored just 41 points in a 57-point hiding. Memories of that game will be lingering but N/W Tasmania are far improved and should not a face a repeat performance this weekend.
Round 2 Notables:
– Albury/Wodonga, Ballarat and Frankston all face double-headers on the road this weekend and for the Blues, it will be three consecutive games away from home to start 2018.
– With most of the team returning from the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany where Australia won the silver medal, the CoE will play their first game of the season when they host Ballarat on Friday night. 2018 is also the first season for the CoE in which they are eligible for finals.
– Kilsyth will welcome back coach Justin Schueller after he led the Australian Crocs to a gold medal at the Under-16 Asian Championships while also qualifying the team for the Under-17 World Cup later this year. The Cobras had a successful start to the year without him though, taking away two wins from their Tasmanian road trip.
– Anthony Drmic and Rhys Vague will suit up for Dandenong when they host Sandringham on Saturday night in their first home game of the season.
– After a thrilling debut in SEABL which saw Diamond Valley lose by a point to Bendigo before defeating Sandringham by a point, they now face a tough ask against Nunawading who sit on top of the ladder with a 2-0 record alongside Kilsyth. The Spectres will also see Dain Swetalla on court for the first time this season.
Find the full fixture for the men in Round 2 via the SEABL website here.