Fire put on alert as bogey team looms
THE Townsville Fire are wary of an ambush from “bogey team” Dandenong ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s WNBL season opener at Townsville Stadium.
Dandenong had an impressive record against the Fire last season, winning two of their three clashes with the eventual champions despite finishing seventh on the ladder.
The Rangers have also added some experience to their roster for 2018- 19 including London Olympic bronze medallist Rachel Jarry and former Melbourne Boomers star Bec Cole.
Fire coach Claudia Brassard felt her side had failed to stick to the game plan in past encounters with Dandenong, but she was confident they could iron out any kinks in this morning’s final training run.
“I think in the past what’s hurt us is just breakdowns in our scout and not being ready on a few things that we said we would get done,” she said.
“I’m happy we’ve got them first round and can see how they have been jelling because they are a bit of a newlook team and it’ll probably take them a little while.
“THEY’LL PUSH THE BALL SO OUR ‘ D’ TRANS HAS TO BE ON POINT AS WELL AND THAT’S A BIT OF A CONCERN. CLAUDIA BRASSARD
“We’ve had some good preparation. There’s still a few things we need to get done in the last two trainings so we want to make sure that we’re just nailing down the scout that we want.”
Brassard said the Fire’s defensive transition would be an important focus as they looked to keep Dandenong’s scorers in check.
“We’ve got to make sure we got the ball inside – there’s no secret there – but by the same token we need to be playing in transition, getting them running, and see if we can attack them just as easily as they’re going to try to be attacking us,” she said.
“They’ve had some significant changes, losing Steph ( Blicavs), but then bringing in Bec Cole and Betnijah Laney so those are two really good scorers that will attack the rim really hard.
“They’ll push the ball so our ‘ D’ trans has to be on point as well and that’s a bit of a concern. We haven’t had much opportunity to practice that yet so hopefully we’ll get that done.”
Brassard had yet to settle on her starting five when she spoke to media yesterday, but the coach expected it would likely be a week- to- week decision with such a deep roster again this season.
“It’s good to have those options,” she said. “I think we might look at some different match- ups and see which way we want to start. Last season we changed up our starters quite often and I probably expect the same this season.”
Tip off at Townsville Stadium tomorrow is at 3pm.
TOWNSVILLE FIRE LIFTOUT INSIDE
READY: Townsville Fire captain Suzy Batkovic in action against the Townsville Fire under- 23 team during last weekend’s final pre- season trial.