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Cougars Preview | NBL1 West Round 7

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It’s another double-header for the Cockburn Cougars this weekend starting at home to the Perth Redbacks on Friday and then a challenging trip to take on two talented Warwick Senators teams on Saturday.

The Round 7 double-header in the NBL1 West for the Cougars begins on Friday night back at Wally Hagan Stadium against the Redbacks. The women’s match begins at 6.30pm with the men’s contest to follow at 8.30pm.

That leads into a Saturday night road trip to Warwick Stadium to face the Senators with the women’s match up tipping off at 5pm followed by the men’s game at 7pm.


It’s a fascinating double for the Cockburn Cougars women this weekend firstly at home to a talented Perth Redbacks outfit and then away to the Warwick Senators as the last two NBL1 West champions go head-to-head.

The Cougars come into the weekend looking to hit back from last Saturday’s disappointing 23-point loss on the road to the Willetton Tigers in a Grand Final rematch from last year.

That was less than 24 hours after Cockburn beat the South West Slammers by 85 points at home and now they return to Wally Hagan Stadium this Friday to host the Redbacks.

The Cougars haven’t lost at home since July 2, 2022, after going through all of last season undefeated at Wally Hagan Stadium including both finals match ups on the way to the championship.

It’s a 19-game home winning streak now that the Cougars put on the line up against a Redbacks team coming into the match up having won their last two matches to sit just inside the top eight at 4-5.

Whether the Redbacks team features Australian representative and Perth Lynx WNBL captain Anneli Maley or not, Cougars coach Tyrone Thwaites knows fully well the threat they represent.

“It’s a tough double and Redbacks at home, they might have been up and down but we know they are a very fast paced team,” Thwaites said.

“Brooke Malone is getting a lot better very quickly and we know how good Natalie Chou is. Shenae Hartree is rebounding very, very well.

“She’s always been able to do that but it’s back to her best and we know Pirini is as crafty as she is. We can’t take anything for granted.”

That leads into a Saturday evening match up featuring the last two championship winning teams in the NBL1 West as the Cougars head north of the river to take on the Senators at Warwick Stadium.

Both teams will be coming off a game already on Friday night with the Senators playing the Joondalup Wolves at HBF Arena while the Cougars will have that game at home to the Redbacks.

That will add extra intrigue to the Saturday match up depending on how the results go, but coming into Round 7 and the Cougars are 5-2 in fourth spot and the Senators third at 7-2, which says it all about the contest.

It’s a tough Warwick team too with the majority of the 2022 championship team still on board led by Chloe Forster, Nat Burton, Stacey Barr and Nicole Jorre de St Jorre with their group now also featuring import forward Karly Murphy and former Cougar Isabelle Miotti.

Thwaites is looking forward to the challenge and to finding out more about his team.

“Then obviously Saturday night is a big test against a Warwick team playing really good basketball at the moment,” Thwaites said.

“Chloe Forster is playing like an MVP and Stacey Barr will be as good as you let her be, and that Warwick team is fairly stable year on year too.

“So we know what we’re walking into there it might be a sliding doors moment for us this weekend. It’s certainly two games we want to put ourselves in the best position to get.”


The Cockburn Cougars went agonisingly close to a perfect double last weekend and will be looking to make it happen this week with two tough match ups against Perth Redbacks and Warwick Senators teams loaded with talent.

The Cougars started off last weekend’s double-header with the 12-point home victory against the South West Slammers before then hitting the road to take on a Willetton Tigers team in red hot form.

Cockburn came back from being 18 points down in the second quarter to be in a winning position and had a chance at the buzzer to snatch the win too, and while it was a two-point loss, there was a lot to like from what the Cougars showed against an in-form team.

Now the Cougars will try to replicate what they did against the Tigers for the most part but turn it into two wins this weekend starting on Friday at Wally Hagan Stadium against a Redbacks team coming into the round on a 3-6 record.

So far the Cougars are undefeated playing at Wally Hagan Stadium this season and Clayden knows the importance of continuing that to give them the perfect start to the double this weekend.

“It’s a big focus for us and we’re not going to hide, our home court has to be impenetrable, end of story,” Clayden said.

“If we go at a very high clip on our home court and start winning some away games, which is the other side of the coin, then we will get into playoffs, and once you do that, anything can happen.

“That’s the attitude we need to have and with the Redbacks, Nixy has some things he’s still working through and he has some guys there who are obviously very talented even though they’ve been battling some injury and sickness.

“They’re still a dangerous team and there’s no way we’ll be underestimating them at all, that’s for sure.”

Once the Cougars finish with the match up against the Redbacks on Friday, they will turn their attention to a supremely talented Senators team coached by Andrew Cooper.

It’s a Warwick team with Perth Wildcats guard Michael Harris so far going at 26.1 points a game while former Adelaide 36ers import Todd Withers is delivering 20.9 points and 9.2 rebounds.

Then with Cody Ellis, Tyler Shand, George Pearl, Brody England and former Cougars point guard Kieran Berry in support, Clayden is fully aware of the challenge they are going to be come Saturday night.

“Harris is doing exactly what they need him to do, Withers is a very good athlete in this competition with a good basketball IQ as well, and then have Coops leading them and you know he’ll let them play with some freedom,” Clayden said.

“So they’re a team that are hard to stop once they get going and it’s going to be a real good test of our defence.

“We think it’s definitely improved and we can definitely see patches where we have got it, but there’s nothing like playing against someone like Harris to really test out how good it actually is.”

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