AT THE start of the ANZ Championship season Allora's Laura Geitz never expected to be leading the Queensland Firebirds into their maiden grand final appearance, let alone having to line up to buy tickets to the match – how things have changed.
Such is the excitement surrounding the game that the Firebirds' stand-in skipper had no choice but to get in line early to make sure she had enough tickets for her family and friends.
“I got there at 20-to-nine and there were two people in front of me,” Geitz said.
“I had to buy 17 tickets.”
Lucky for Geitz that she did – tickets to Sunday night's final at the Brisbane Convention Centre went on sale at 9am and were sold out in just 20 minutes.
But Geitz wanted to ensure the people who have helped during her career were on the sidelines for a game she rates as “100 per cent” the biggest of her career.
The Firebirds go into the grand final confident in the knowledge they totally dismantled the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in their preliminary final clash last Monday.
Leading into that game all sorts of questions were being asked of the Firebirds and whether they had the finals experience to match it with the Magic.
Those questions were answered emphatically with a 50-39 thrashing of the New Zealand-based side.
Individually, Geitz played one of the games of her career, shutting down the Magic's goal-shooting ace Irene van Dyk and grabbing seven intercepts but Geitz said she was made to look good by her team-mates.
“I think a lot of those intercepts came from the pressure Clare (McMeniman), Keirra (Trompf) and Elissa (Macleod) were putting on in the centre.
"By the time the ball got to me I was able to create some turnovers and intercepts,” Geitz said.
Geitz is in no doubt it's going to take another huge team performance to stop the Northern Mystics in the grand final.
The two sides met in round seven of the competition, Queensland posting a 61-52 victory.
“But they've changed a lot since we met them in the previous rounds ... they're peaking at the right time,” Geitz said.
While Geitz has the chance to be the first Queensland captain to raise the ANZ Championship trophy on Sunday, she is refusing to get ahead of herself.
“We just need to concentrate on the game itself,” Geitz said.
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