Punishing Capitals the focus for Spirit

ALL the talk in the WNBL this week has surrounded Saturday night's match of the round between the Bendigo Spirit and Melbourne Boomers.

Some see the clash between first and third at Bendigo Stadium on Saturday night as a potential grand final preview.

Spirit coach Bernie Harrower isn't buying into the hype.

Harrower admitted on Thursday his sole focus is Friday night's game against the Canberra Capitals at the AIS Arena.

"We haven't spoken much at all about Melbourne, it's all been about Canberra,'' Harrower said.

"We like to get the job at hand done first and that's why we're worried about Canberra.

"Canberra in Canberra is never an easy task and if you drop that first game of the weekend it puts you under more pressure for the second game.

"Canberra has showed their good enough to beat any team. They beat Dandenong and I rate Dandenong the best team we've played.

"We need to be ready to play against Canberra or they'll jump us."

Two wins for the weekend would give the Spirit a 15-game winning streak and, more importantly, a vice-like grip on top spot.

"It would be very difficult to see anyone taking top spot from us if we were to win both games,'' Harrower said.

"That's not something we're worried about. We just want to focus on each game as it comes."

This weekend shapes as one of the toughest schedules of the season for the Spirit.

The Spirit flew out ot Canberra on Thursday, face the Capitals from 7pm on Friday night, have a return flight from Canberra at 8.45am on Saturday, get back to Bendigo at about 12.30pm on Saturday and seven hours later face the Boomers.

The Boomers will be fresh having not played a game for three weeks.

"Bulleen could be hot to trot after such a long break or they could be a bit sluggish,'' Harrower said.

"It's certainly a tough weekend for us travel wise."

The Spirit defeated the Boomers 60-55 in a physical contest in round 10.

This time around the Boomers are likely to have the services of Opals squad member Rachel Jarry, who is set to make her return from injury.

"I think we'll be better off this time around against Melbourne,'' Harrower said.

"The first game we played them was the first time we'd seen them play under new coach (Guy Molloy).

"They're a very talented group. They play a lot like we do - very defensively orientated.

"If Jarry plays that gives them another good scoring option.

"Defensively, we'll need to play with the right intensity if we want to win the game."

Saturday night's game at Bendigo Stadium starts at 7.30pm.

Friday night's game against the Capitals starts at 7pm.

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