GAME PREVIEW: HAWKS (0-0) v RAMS (0-1)
The team we’ve all been waiting to see, the Taylor Bay Hawks will make their first appearance since their 2019 grand final loss when they welcome the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams to Pettigrew Green Arena this afternoon (3pm tip-off).
The Rams are coming off a surprisingly heavy defeat to fellow championship contenders the Saints in their first hit-out, but will be all the better for getting some run in their legs.
Team News – Hawks
The big news for the Hawks is that Hyrum Harris is back in the country just in time to suit up for the opening game of their season. This has implications later in the season as it means both Jarrod Kenny and Jordan Hunt can now join Harris at the Hawks at the end of the ANBL season.
With coach Jacob Chance still with the Perth Wildcats, assistant Kaine Hokianga will be in charge for the first part of the season at least. Expect a starting line-up of Derone Raukawa, Ethan Rusbatch, Hyrum Harris, Devondrick Walker, and Jono Janssen. Not bad at all.
Team News - Rams
The Rams started with Deshon Taylor, Sam Smith, EJ Singler, Quinten Bailey and Jack Salt in their opener v the Saints. However, Jack Salt is listed as questionable for this one and is subject to a game day fitness test. Taylor went over on his ankle in their first game but returned to the game and is set to suit up in this one.
Where it’ll be won
There’s no denying that’s a potent Hawks line-up, but it is their first game, and they haven’t had much time with Hyrum Harris over the past few weeks, which could count against them. Meanwhile the Rams have a valuable, albeit unsuccessful, first hit out together, and coach Mick Downer would have tweaked a few things ahead of this one. A tough one to call, and a matchup I wouldn’t be surprised to see toward the pointy end of the season.
How to watch
SKY Sport 9 – 3pm – Commentary from Huw Beynon and Casey Frank