Fire guards urged to lift their game
ASSISTANT coach Mark Wrobel says the Townsville Fire are still trying to get the balance of their offence right heading into tomorrow afternoon’s clash with Melbourne at Townsville Stadium.
Captain Suzy Batkovic has dominated the scoring this season with 23 points per game while Darcee Garbin is averaging a career- high 10.4, but the Fire haven’t had the same output from their guards.
Micaela Cocks ( 8.2) and Tess Madgen ( 6.6) are both making solid contributions on the scoreboard, but Wrobel said the Fire were looking for more ways to strengthen their backcourt.
“We’ve been a little bit critical of some of our backcourt performances and made sure that we want to get some more production out of that,” Wrobel said.
“Suzy is getting her points, but in past seasons we’ve had a leading guard scorer in someone like a Mia Murray or a Sydney Wiese whereas this year it’s been a bit more of an even spread.
“It’s probably been a bit deceptive. Against Sydney a couple of weeks ago where it was all heralded that Suzy had 30, but we had three players that had nine points and another that had seven.
“Yes, we would like one of our guards to suddenly come out and have a breakout game and ease the load a little bit more. That’s going to help us for sure, but we know that’ll come.
“We’ve had these little teething issues at the start of every season about trying to find the balance right between the perimeter and the post game and I don’t think we’re far off getting that right.” The Boomers have a star- studded line- up with four current Opals players, but they’ve also struggled at times in the early rounds and the unheralded Bendigo Spirit have beaten them twice.
Starting Boomers centre Ezi Magbegor is sidelined with a broken hand ahead of their trip to Townsville and Wrobel said it could prove a season- defining clash for both teams.
“I think they’re similar ( to the Fire). They’ve just been trying to find the right system for what’s going to work for them and they’ve looked a lot better over the last couple of weeks,” he said. “We’ve had a little bit of a look at what Bendigo’s done to have good effect against them and we’ll try and replicate some of those things.
“I’m sure both teams believe they’re going to be there at the end of the season and they’re as desperate as we are to make sure that they don’t fall behind in the series split.”