After a much-needed week off following what has been a difficult month of May, the Integra Ballarat Rush are looking forward to entering into the second half of season with a renewed sense of competitive spirit to get themselves back into the finals race. This campaign will begin when they take on the Sandringham Sabres this Sunday from 12pm at the MARS® MINERDOME.
Despite only winning two of their nine games in the month of May, the Rush have made major strides towards improvement, and have had multiple players from different positions step up in crucial moments. The solid play of locals Abbey Wehrung, Bronte Clark, Ash Stonehouse and Kasey Burton has not only provided a new sense of depth for the Rush, but it has also released some of the pressure off of the starters to perform.
Steph Cumming, however, continues to perform night in and night out, as she is one of the top-scorers in the league with 22.3 points per game. Her ability to score as well as dish the ball out to her teammates (averaging 4.3 assists each game) has proven invaluable and will continue to bring about success for the Rush in these upcoming key months. The strong support Cumming receives from captain Kristy Rinaldi and import Nya Mason, who are both averaging double figures in points on the season, has also been beneficial to the team’s success, and will need to continue in order for the Rush to be able to turn things around. With a refreshing break heading into the second half of the season, the Rush are poised and ready to make a big push for a finals spot.
Their first test in this push will come from the Sandringham Sabres, whom have only just recently acquired their first win of the season in Round 11 against the Canberra Capitals. They are led by SEABL veterans Micaela Cocks and Hope Walker, averaging 14.3 and 19.2 points per game, respectively. Although the Sabres have won one game thus far, they are a very talented and experienced team, and once they start to click, they are a very hard side to manage. Assistance for Cocks and Walker also comes in Kate Malpass, who, although she is averaging only nine points each game, serves as the heart of the team, playing with a spirit that encourages the team to give it their best with each possession. As Sandringham has scoring options coming from nearly every position, an enthusiastic drive to perform on the defensive end will be necessary for the Rush to come out of this contest with a win, getting them back on track and into their early season form.
The Rush have identified a collaborative effort as a major and crucial factor to being victorious in these weeks leading into finals, and one of the main collaborators is the ongoing support from the fans. Come cheer on the Rush in their drive towards success this Sunday at 12pm at the MARS® MINERDOME, followed by the Miners taking on the Sabres at 2pm.