As we near the start of the 2019 seasons for the NWBL and WNWBL, take a look back at how last year unfolded.

Wollongong Rollerhawks are aiming for a three-peat in 2019, having claimed back-to-back Championships in the men’s competition while the Queensland Comets climbed the mountain last year to win gold for the women.

Coming into the playoffs without a double chance, Wollongong proved themselves in the post-season by winning three consecutive games as they surpassed Red Dust Heelers in the Semi-Final, Kilsyth Cobras in the Preliminary Final and Queensland Spinning Bullets in the gold medal game.

Queensland gave them a run for their money with the scores tied at three-quarter time but Brett Stibners (32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists), Luke Pople (nine points, seven rebounds, seven assists), Nick Taylor (ten points, eight rebounds and seven assists) and Michael Auprince (12 points and eleven rebounds) were too strong in the end.

Tom O’Neill-Thorne and Bill Latham combined for 59 points in the Semi-Final win over Kilsyth and O’Neill-Thorne then added 38 points in the final to do everything he could to get Queensland over the line.

The bronze medal playoff was fought out between Red Dust and Kilsyth and was another close game at three-quarter time before the Heelers pulled away.

They turned a five-point lead at the last change into a 13-point victory behind veteran Brad Ness’ 37 points and seven rebounds.

Import Josh Turek added 29 points and 16 boards while Rob Pike scored 15 points to answer Tristan Knowles’ 33 points in a frustrating weekend for the Cobras.

The three teams that missed out on playoffs in 2018 were Perth, an uncharacteristic finish for the 2013 Champions and perennial finals contender, Sydney Metro and Adelaide who will be entering their third season back in the league this year.

In the WNWBL, the Queensland Comets are the defending Champions after they were led to a gold medal by Australian Gliders head coach David Gould.

Perth had set the pace through the regular season, finishing with a 14-1 record to sit four games clear of any other team but Queensland hit their straps at the right time, getting the better of the Western Stars in the Semi-Final and gold medal game.

The bronze medal playoff was a derby between the two New South Wales teams and there was another upset of sorts with Sydney Uni Flames, who finished three wins below the Blues at the end of the regular season, taking third spot.

They prevailed 73-51, two days after getting the better of them in the Semi-Final as well to take bragging rights in the state for another year.

In 2019, Red Dust and Kilsyth will be looking to make their way back into the playoffs after the Heelers in particular showed improvement to earn four wins and finish just two games outside the post-season.

Find the full 2019 fixture for the NWBL here and the WNWBL here.