A home victory on Saturday would confirm an extended SEABL season for Launceston Tornadoes and enhance the possibility of another derby clash with Hobart in the finals.
The Torns sit equal second on the Southern Conference ladder with an identical record to Dandenong of 11 wins, six losses and a 64.71 percentage.
Bendigo is a win clear on top while the fourth-placed Chargers have eight wins and sit above Frankston (six), Ballarat and Melbourne (five each).
With back-to-back home games followed by trips to Bendigo, Ballarat and Dandenong, Torns coach Richard Dickel is comfortable but taking nothing for granted.
“We are virtually already in,” he said. “Frankston would have to win every game and we’d have to lose every game and even then we have a tie-break over them but we’re going out to win every game and that starts this weekend and we’ll worry about what happens next after that.
“Anywhere from one to four we could end up but we want to get one obviously.”
As for the prospect of a Tasmanian derby in the finals, he added: “You’ve got to play somebody so it may as well be a derby game, but we’ll see what happens.”
“No matter where you are in the world you have your rivalry games and it puts a little bit more pressure on to win.
“Obviously it’s going to be a test for us and derby games are always interesting.”
Captain Lauren Mansfield is due to play her 100th game before heading off to join the Opals in the Asian Cup.
Derby games are always interesting.Launceston Tornadoes coach Richard Dickel
Meanwhile Dickel played down the reunion with former Torn Mikaela Ruef.
“It’s just another player to us. It will be great to see her out there on court but it’s all about us.
“The girls love Mikaela, she’s a nice person, but she’s playing for Hobart this weekend and that’s all it is.”
Coming off a confidence-boosting win at Kilsyth last weekend, the Tornadoes are looking to turn the tables on their intrastate rivals who won their round 1 encounter and have Kathleen Scheer (20.4 points per game), Alex Ciabattoni (18.7ppg) and Sharna Thompson (40 per cent three-point shooting) in fine form.
- WHAT: Launceston Tornadoes v Hobart Lady Chargers
- WHERE: Elphin SC
- WHEN: 6.30pm Saturday