Is this the biggest rivalry in the Sal’s NBL? You’d be hard-pressed to find a better matchup than this one in the league right now, the two grand finalists from 2018 come together again on the same court where the Sharks clinched a 2-pt thriller in last season’s decider.
Both have started the season well, boasting two wins each from as many starts and currently occupy the top two rungs on the ladder.
The shooting form of both Nick Kay and Shea Ili has been something to behold for the Saints and if they get on top the Sharks could be in trouble. The match-up between Ili and Weeks will be fun to watch. There is a real Australian flavour in this game with Nick Kay and Sunday Dech set to take on Jarrad Weeks, Todd Blanchfield and Mitch McCarron, but it could be the home-grown talent of Shea Ili, Jordan Ngatai, Reuben Te Rangi, Alex Pledger and Tom Vodanovich who have a big say in the final result.
Both teams are formidable and expected to be right in the mix come the Final 4 in July at Horncastle Arena, but make no mistake there is a lot riding on this game, particularly early-season bragging rights.
Don’t be surprised if this one goes down to the last play or two.
FROM THE COACH - PAUL HENARE: The Saints and the Sharks have had a lot of great contests over the years and this season will be no different. We have a lot of respect for them and we know we will be in for a battle. We are continuing to build our on-court chemistry which has been exciting to watch in such a short time. We'll need everyone to contribute for us to get over the line in this one.
JUDD FLAVELL: Over the past 10 years the Sharks/Saints rivalry has been one of the biggest in the league and I am sure this game will be no exception. Obviously we have up close and personal experience with many of the Saints 2019 roster and are well aware of the strengths they have at their disposal. The match-ups in this game have the potential to be outstanding and for us this is a great challenge as a measuring stick to see where we are at this early stage of the season.