DANDENONG Rangers face a torturous stint starting this Friday night.
The Rangers play four games in 10 days with a home clash against Townsville on Friday night followed by away games against Bendigo on Saturday night and Queensland road-double against Logan and Townsville on November 2 and 4.
Rangers coach Mark Wright said his side would face a major test of its resilience and fitness over those matches. "It's not easy but everyone has to do it at some stage. It will be a good test for our resolve," he said.
The Rangers tuned up for the next lot of games with a 103-71 win over West Coast Waves at Dandenong Stadium on Sunday
Five Rangers got in double figures led by Jenna O'Hea (22 points, six rebounds, seven assists) while Kath Macleod (19 points, 10 assists), Carley Mijovic (17 points, 12 rebounds), Sara Blicavs (13 points) and Steph Cumming (10 points) all starred. Cumming played despite being ill for most of the week and was rested for much of the second half.
Rangers coach Mark Wright said his side had shown plenty of promising signs but had fallen away in the final term.
"For the most part we were good and hard at it," Wright said. "We were obviously exposed in some flaws defensively and went into a slump around three-quarter-time. We wanted to put the foot down in the last quarter but didn't.
"It's very early in the season and you have little glitches. The good thing was Jenna and Kath had big games. It's good to see them starting to feel it."
Wright said he was also pleased to see teenage stars Blicavs and Mijovic getting among the points but he implored the two rising stars to continue to work on their consistency and performance from one game to the next.
"The young kids came in and played well," he said. "The question for them is how long it will take to replicate that form week in and week out. That is the difference between great players and good players. They still have a long way to go."
Wright said the Rangers, who now have a 2-1 [win-loss] record, still had a lot of improvement to come.
"I wish we had it all firing on all cylinders and were the same team that finished last season but we never through that would be the case," he said. "We were never going to be 'here we go' and switch the switch then start playing.
"We are showing positive, good signs about where that team is going. We have to be persistent, keep heading in right direction and not have too many detours.
"I'm really happy, we have lots of promising things happening and any time you score 103 points in this very competitive league then you have something to be happy about."
Dandenong Rangers host Townsville Fire at Dandenong Stadium this Friday at 7pm.