WNBL1 preview: 6/7 January - live streams, stats and more

With this year's WNBL National Cup finalists decided, it's all eyes on D1W in 2024.

That means the year starts with a bang as all 12 teams are in action this weekend across six exciting league games.

With one contest tomorrow and five more on Sunday, including an NBL Live showpiece between Reading and Barking Abbey, there's plenty to look forward to across the next few days.

We take a look at all of the action below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

Reading Rockets (4-4) vs Barking Abbey (4-6)

Reading begin the New Year with a visit from Barking Abbey.

The Rockets will look back on the 2023 portion of their schedule with mixed feelings, bookending four losses in October and November with a pair of victories to start and finish the year.

One of those early wins was in East London against BA, a 75-72 Reading victory, that went all the way down to the final few possessions to decide a winner on opening day.

Barking shot just 27% in that contest compared to their opponents 46%, so any kind of uptick in that shooting performance could see them net a fifth win of the season this weekend.

Fans will no doubt be looking forward to another battle between Ruchae Walton and Lindsay Cleary, with the duo lighting it up last September. The BA captain closed with a mighty 32 points in defeat, with Cleary offering a 28-point, 10-rebound double-double in reply.

Six teams, including both Barking and Reading, are currently locked into D1W's midtable with eight or ten points, making the games between those sides all the more important

With the NBL Live camera set to bring you all the action, Niall Gray will be live from 1:30pm on the BE YouTube channel.


Elsewhere this weekend

Two other teams locked in that mid-table scuffle are Anglia Ruskin University (4-8) and Bristol Academy Flyers (5-6), who meet in Cambridge tomorrow in the battle to further establish their playoff credentials.

Two teams with their eyes set on a bigger prize meet on Sunday to begin the day's play, with Brent Bulls (5-3) heading across London to face CoLA Southwark Pride (7-3). Both sides will still have top spot in their sights in 2024, though getting there won't be easy against the relentless charge of current leaders Ipswich.

Speaking of which, Team Solent Kestrels (1-8) have the unenviable task of starting 2024 with a visit from Endeavour Ipswich Basketball (10-1), a team who humbled them 118-42 on the opening day of the season.

WNBL National Cup finalists Thames Valley Cavaliers (7-3) will look to keep their momentum rolling ahead of the Manchester showpiece with a league win against a Loughborough Riders (7-5) team currently enjoying a top-four spot.

The weekend draws to a close with a rematch between last season's two promoted teams, Manchester Mystics (5-6) and City of Birmingham Rockets (2-8).

The sides have enjoyed differing fortunes since Manchester's 66-57 road win to start the campaign, with the Mystics looking to push on towards the playoffs as the Rockets scrap near the foot of the standings.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 6 January

4:15pm - Anglia Ruskin University vs Bristol Academy Flyers - LIVE STATS

Sunday 7 January

1:30pm - Reading Rockets vs Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

2:15pm - CoLA Southwark Pride vs Brent Bulls - LIVE STATS

4pm - Team Solent Kestrels vs Endeavour Ipswich Basketball - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

4:30pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

5:30pm - Manchester Mystics vs City of Birmingham Rockets - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Graham Hodges