Arrive Alive NSW Womens Super League Round 4 Preview


Three sides still remain undefeated with Illawarra Stingrays sitting alone atop the ladder after three wins from three games.
The Panthers and The Ravens battled each other to a standstill last weekend and that draw has left them both trailing The Stingrays by two points. Western NSW Panthers go on their first road trip of 2008 this weekend.
A number of teams who gained their first points of 2008 last week will be hopeful of building on that success with continuing improvement in this round.
High flying Illawarra Stingrays host Uni of NSW at J.J.Kelly Park. The Stingrays have looked the real deal so far in 2008.
The Illawarra girls have a very talented squad that includes a pair of strikers many Premier League sides would kill for. The competition leaders looked scrappy last weekend against Bankstown but, despite that description of their effort by stand in Coach Brett Wallin, The Stingrays still looked a class above their opposition.
UNSW have been victims of the weather in the last two weeks with washouts leaving them stranded near the bottom of the ladder. It?ll be great to get the football at their feet again but the University girls face a big task to topple the competition leaders.
Northern Tigers meet Southern NSW FC at Parklands Oval. These two teams sit at the bottom of the competition table. However, both have shown glimmers of form in their matches so far. Southern were the victims of a late Blacktown winner last week at home. They also turned in competitive efforts against both Western NSW Panthers and Gladesville Ravens in earlier rounds.
The Tigers also put up some game performances in the first two rounds before experiencing the washout blues last weekend. A chance for much needed points for these two sides. Southern will be favourites but that never guarantees a win.
Blacktown Spartans come off their first win of the season in Nowra in round three. They host Gladesville Ravens, who are building a reputation as a genuine premiership contender.
The Ravens may have been fortunate to escape from Bathurst with a point last weekend but the Gladesville girls played with plenty of discipline. This game looms as the most interesting of the round.
Both teams have shown some promising signs that will have the other premiership contenders looking over their shoulders. Blacktown will want their first home game of the season to be a positive experience for their supporters. I?m hearing so much positive vibe about The Ravens around the traps though that they must be tough to toss in this one.
St George FC meets Western NSW Panthers at Peakhurst. Can The Panthers bring their impressive home ground form to the big city? Why not! The Panthers have two wins and a draw from three matches.
They may feel unlucky not to have grabbed all three points last weeks against Gladesville. That result stands them in good stead for a result against a St George side that got out of jail last week in their clash with Inter Lions. They will need to find the resolve that brought them a round one win over Blacktown to be competitive in this match.
The final match of the round pits Inter Lions against Bankstown Wildcats at Ron Routley. The Inter girls will be buoyed by their performance last weekend against St George.
It was cruel to see the team robbed of their first win by the 88th minute equaliser from St George but it?s yet another learning curve for the girls from Concord. The result should give the Inter team renewed confidence however.
Can they take things one step further against a Wildcats side that must still be coming to grips with what hit them last weekend when they came up against Illawarra Stingrays? Bankstown had gone into that match undefeated and that in itself shows that this young Bankstown side has something to offer.
The Wildcats had their moments in their loss to Stingrays and this match offers the opportunity for them to bounce back. Anything could happen in this one but Bankstown must be slightly favoured.
There are plenty of thrills and spills assured in this weekend?s round. A few of the league?s ?lesser lights? look genuine chances of causing upsets this weekend. Such a set of results would certainly tighten up the ladder.
Illawarra are going gang busters atop the ladder and the competition is looking for a challenger to emerge from the pack. Is there someone out there wanting to take up the challenge?
-By Ross Anderson