Maintain the rage

Cayla Flames

JCU Townsville Fire forward Cayla George have vowed to maintain the rage ahead of this week’s crucial road double to Victoria.

With the Fire chasing back-to-back minor premierships, the reigning Wattle Valley WNBL champions remain half a game behind the Perth Lynx but can re-claim top spot with victories over Melbourne and Bendigo.

With skipper Suzy Batkovic hampered through a groin injury last week, George stepped up in her captain’s role, securing a berth in the WNBL Team of the Week after posting 22 points and 18 rebounds against the Sydney Uni Flames.

“I’ll try and maintain the rage going into this weekend and try and get my rebound goal,” George said

“I know how important the wins are, as we all do, so I guess I had to step it up a bit.

“I like to aim for 15 rebounds, so I think I’ve had that a few times this season and he (Fire coach Chris Lucas) was aiming for 15 for me again and in my head I was trying to hit 20, so I just fell short.”

The Fire will play a waiting game to see whether two-time WNBL Grand Final MVP Kelsey Griffin takes to the floor for the Spirit after injuring her hamstring against Dandenong at the weekend.

While the Spirit have ruled her out of the round 16 blockbuster, the Fire are wary of their arch-nemesis’ cloak and dagger routine and will prepare for her to take her place.

In the meantime, however, they must overcome the Boomers, who claimed their scalp in Melbourne earlier in the season with a stunning shooting display from the perimeter.

“We only focus on the first game and then focus on the next one straight afterwards, but Melbourne will be tough,” George said.

“They can’t make finals so they’ll be playing a bit more relaxed and we just have to go in there and make sure we execute our stuff.

“They’ve also got a lot of injuries, so who knows, some of them might be playing again — I’m not sure — but whoever they suit up we have to be ready.”

The Fire tackle the Boomers at the Victorian State Basketball Centre on Saturday night before backing up against the Spirit in Bendigo on Sunday.

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