WATCH THE REPLAYS: RedCity Roar v USC Rip in QSL clash

 

 

REPLAY: QSL Basketball - Red City Roar vs USC Rip City (Women's)

 

Australian Opals guards clashed as the University of Sunshine Coast Rip and RedCity Roar fought for finals spots in the Queensland State League women's competition.

Two-time WNBL champion Maddi Rocci, who was included in the latest national team squad,  lead the USC Rip against regular Opals squad member Lauren Mansfield and the RedCity Roar as the two teams went head-to-head in the QSL game of the week.

Both teams sit on two losses with the Rip ahead in fifth place having played five games and won three while the league's newcomers have won two from four.

USC will come into the game with some confidence after dominant win over the South West Metro Pirates last round while RedCity will be looking to bounce back after a loss to the Southern Districts Spartans.

USC Rip City and Australian Opals guard Maddi Rocci. Picture: Fan Fair
USC Rip City and Australian Opals guard Maddi Rocci. Picture: Fan Fair

And while the Rip have an Opal of their own, it might be the Roar's depth, with New Zealand forward Ashleigh Karaitiana, Karlene Kingi and Char Mellars to go alongside Mansfield, that could prove too much for the team from the Sunshine Coast.

Mansfield said the focus for her team was to play consistently for four quarters.

"Team defence will be the main focus, having help side and getting back in transition," she said.

"We will need to make things difficult for Maddi Rocci, who is running the show for Rip City. Offensively we will try to make the most of our advantage on the inside."

RedCity Roar women's guard and Australian Opals squad member Lauren Mansfield. Picture: Fan Fair
RedCity Roar women's guard and Australian Opals squad member Lauren Mansfield. Picture: Fan Fair

USC Rip coach Jamie Glover said the clash with RedCity would be a touhg challenge, especially with his team shorthandad.

"It looks like we will be short again this week similar to last week. We have definitely been there abouts but need all players on the court," he said.

In the men's game, the Roar will be looking to continue their red hot star to the season going when they take on a shorthanded Rip.

RedCity are undefeated after four games with NBA G-League guard William McDowell-White and Brisbane Bullets big man Harry Froling leading their team to a big win over the Spartans last week despite missing several key players through injury.

RedCity Roar star guard William McDowell-White. Picture: Fan Fair
RedCity Roar star guard William McDowell-White. Picture: Fan Fair

Roar coach Ian Hibberd said a significant factor behind their success was the leadership of their stars, including McDowell-White, Froling, Verle Williams Jr, Heath Gameren and an injured Darryl McDowell-White.

"The leaders have been unreal," he said.

"Big Harry has been vocal about the boys staying engaged especially with him understanding what it takes to win at this level.

RedCity Roar and Brisbane Bullets big man Harry Froling. Picture: Fan Fair
RedCity Roar and Brisbane Bullets big man Harry Froling. Picture: Fan Fair

"The two McDowell-White boys, who are super competitive, keep training focused and you add in young Verle and Heath who are both a wealth of knowledge - all of that combined brings all the other blokes along.

"For example both Jackson Pollock and Declan Grimes had excellent games last week because of the lads influence."

RedCity Roar star guard William McDowell-White. Picture: Fan Fair
RedCity Roar star guard William McDowell-White. Picture: Fan Fair

Hibberd also said his team was focused on not letting up after the good star with winning a championship driving his players.

"In terms of staying focused, again a big part of it is those leaders understand what needs to happen for us to have a chance at winning a championship and them staying focus just leads from the front and the other boys have no choose but to follow," he said.

RedCity Roar men's QSL coach Ian Hibberd. Picture: Fan Fair
RedCity Roar men's QSL coach Ian Hibberd. Picture: Fan Fair

"Offensively we'll just keep playing our game and try and control the pace of the game to how the lads like to play and keep our defensive intensity how it has been over the last couple of games."

USC men's coach Nathan Arousi said his team was up against it with several key players, including Josh and Isaih Tueta missing through injury as well as young gun Elias Cato.

However, he believed his team's defence was the key.

"An interesting stat is that to date RedCity are by far the league's highest scoring team and we are second in average points against," he said.

"We have been consistently holding teams to under 80 points and while Redlands are averaging more than 112 per game, if we can keep them to under 100, that will be a mini win."

The women's game tips-off at 6pm with the men following at 8pm.

Originally published as Watch: RedCity Roar v USC Rip in QSL clash