The Brisbane Breakers will be counting down the seconds until the 2019 AUL season commences. Brisbane looked like one of the teams to beat in 2018, storming out of the blocks with three straight wins before dropping their last two to finish third – and out of the grand final. They will line up against a Perth side that managed just one win in their maiden season and will be looking for vast improvement this time around. Getting off to another fast start will be firmly in the Breakers minds, but they could get a shock from an improved Perth outfit.
Perth assemble winning roster
The tyranny of distance can make it difficult for Perth to bring players from across Australia together for regular training sessions. So, the 2019 version will have a very local feel with Perth players Ali Lim, Annie Jessop and Kyal Oh all joining the Power from the local competition. Sydney player Simone Ryan has also joined Perth along with 2018 AUL players Timocles Copland and Ash McInnes (Brisbane) and former Sydney Sun Eunice Cheung.
Breakers welcome walking highlight reel
There have been many changes at the Breakers in the off-season, with Yew Eng Ng moving from the Sydney Suns to coach Brisbane along with Tamara Davis. The core group remains solid, with Dom Simpson, Kat Smith, Lyra Meehan, John McNaughton, Liam Grimmond and Sam McGuckin returning for 2019, but there have been some significant signings as well.
The biggest is Brett Matzuka, who has won title representing Australia and the USA, who brings with him a suite of skills that will set this year’s AUL on fire. Rachel Parsons (Sydney Suns), Rosa Wang (Melbourne Flames) and Loughlin Murphy (Adelaide Dragons) round out the roster.
All-Australian returns for Perth
Former rugby league player Alex Shepherd returns for the Perth Power and will be better for the experience gained in 2018. He was the Power’s sole All Australian representative and looms as a vital cog once again in 2019. Lyra Meehan was the primary destroyer for Brisbane when these sides met in 2018 with the Breakers going on to win comfortably 13-6. Will Perth turn that around in 2019?
Caro Bris 2-1
Matt Bris 3-0