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Flames may be out of range

AS much as most would love to see the WNBL’s historic second “best-of-three” Grand Final go the distance, it looks very much as if, like the format’s debut last year, it will only go two matches.

Ahead 1-0, regular season champion Sydney tonight in Dandenong effectively is “playing with house money”, knowing it has the luxury of going home to Brydens Stadium on Sunday if the Rangers tie it up.

That means the Flames can play with a carefree demeanour, as opposed to a careless demeanour, with all the pressure to perform on Larissa Anderson’s young Dandenong team.

Experienced players and Flames leaders such as Leilani Mitchell and Belinda Snell should ensure there is no sign of complacency and if Sydney can get the balance right, the heat will be on Dandenong from tip-off.

Alex Wilson is finishing the season on a high, Asia Taylor and Jennifer Hamson arguably the best one-two import punch in the league.

The Rangers are expecting a full house and will need more players to step up in support of their “big three’ – Sara Blicavs, Stephanie Cumming and Natalie Novosel – to win this and irrevocably alter this series’ dynamic.

Right now, we’ve seen one extraordinary Grand Final match and tonight can count on more of the same.

It remains to be seen what else Dandenong has in reserve after leaving it all out there last week, albeit with some missing contributions. If a few notables step up to force this to a decider, then the Rangers definitely are a chance for the whole thing.

But it is a big ask against a team one win from the Championship and on an extended roll.


Game 2, Grand Final

Tip-off: 7.30pm (local)

Live-Stream at WNBL Facebook Page and youtube

Mar 17

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