Canberra opened their 2018 season with a bang, claiming victory over Perth, but they face a stern test in their season-opener this time around.
Melbourne Flames were undefeated in 2018, romping through the maiden season to claim grand final victory over the Sydney Suns.
Cat Phillips, Mark Isherwood and Alex Prentice were all named in the All-Australian team for their efforts.
Flames changing of the guard
It will be a new-look Flames looking to repeat their premiership success in 2019, with Isherwood and Prentice moving on with a host of other players. Rob Andrews has been recruited from the Sydney Suns while new players Andrew See, Chris Stoddard and Josh de Bell have also been welcomed to the ranks.
Bringing on local talent
Ellipsis Ultimate in Melbourne has been a breeding ground of success, claiming victory at the 2013 WFDF Asia Oceanic Ultimate and Guts Championships, were champions at the US Open and were the Australian National Champions four years running from 2016-19. The Flames are fostering this local talent with Shannon Trenwith, Hannah Mangan (formerly of the Canberra Freeze) and exciting young talent Simar Dhaliwal joining the roster. They will join the core group of Aussie Crocs in Phillips, Georgia Egan-Griffiths and Mikhaila Dignam to form a talented and formidable female contingent in the Flames.
Freeze looking to improve
Canberra will have a real feeling of unfinished business in 2019. Last season, wins in rounds one and five flanked three consecutive losses, halting their charge to glory. Receivers Adelaide Dennis, Abbie Dawson and Hannah Monty and five-time Australian Dingo Matt Dowle return in season 2019 and they will be joined by a host of new talent.
Tall timber gives Freeze an advantage
By default, or by design, the recruitment strategy employed by coaches Lorna Barr and Pete Hemphill has assembled the tallest roster in the AUL. Gavin Moore (Sydney Suns), Calan Spielman (Brisbane Breakers) and new players Andrew Jackson, Scott Perry and Tim Lavis bring a real advantage to this side.
Import to lead Canberra
One of the biggest signings for the Freeze has been English international Rachel Turton. She is determined to prove herself in our professional league and has the fire inside to make it happen. Turton is joined by Cath O’Neill from the Brisbane Breakers and new player Erin Wallis.
Caro Melb 2-1
Matt Melb 3-0