Cairns start to believe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cairns start to believe

By Derek Tipper 23/01/2005 05:42:22 AM Comments (0)

A relaxed Cairns Taipans have put play-off talk out of their minds and are hoping to use a gritty 107-96 win over West Sydney to spark an improbable seven-game winning run to post-season action.

The win snaps a three game losing streak for Cairns, who at 9-17, must now win all their remaining six games to have any chance of repeating their play-off successes of last season.

The scenario is the same for West Sydney.

The Razorbacks are also 9-17 and must win their final six games to have a chance of repeating their last year's post-season heroics when they lost the grand final series to Sydney.

While Cairns are trying not to think about the play-offs West Sydney coach Mark Watkins, an accountant by trade, has his sights firmly fixed on the mathematical possibilities open to his Razorbacks.

This is despite dropping both games on the road - West Sydney were beaten 116-96 in Townsville on Friday night - on a weekend when they hoped to win at least one to put a two-game break between themselves and the Taipans.

Watkins admitted his troops were a little leg weary after key men Aaron Trahair and Sam Mackinnon were forced to play big minutes both nights.

But his problems were familiar, as West Sydney missed 16 free throws, 19/35, in this 11-point contest, turned the ball over 20 times and made just seven of 26 from three-point range.

"I am an optimist at heart and an accountant by training so if there is a mathematical chance I will take it," Watkins said.

"I think we can do it, despite a disappointing weekend. The fans and media expect us to do well but we have had a really adverse season.

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