Earlier this year
Taipans v Wildcats - Mon 16/1 - 6:30pm AEST
Been a big round round, and this is a Massive game.
Despite looking ensconced in last place, Cairns have only lost 11 games. That is less than Sydney, NZ, and Brissy, and equal to MU. A couple of wins could easily see them move up the ladder.
At the same time, the newly resurgent Cats want to cement a top 4 spot, and ideally move above 4th spot (and a SF series against Adelaide.)
The Cats with Cotton, and Damo back, have mostly looked like a new team, and importantly won some big games on the road. They will be smarting after last nights loss, and some players will be looking to make amends.
That said, its a tough road trip, especially 2 days after a game, but Cairns also played yesterday and have to travel home.
I think one think we can safely predict, with these two teams, and both being a little tired, it will be a tough defensive slog.
With Damo, Cotton, and CP, I think Perth have the backcourt edge. But the battle up front should be stupendous. With big Nate, Loughton, and Worthington (and even Egwu) Cairns have some big bodies to throw around. Perth need McKay to cut lose early (as he did last night) but not get into foul trouble and get benched. If he gets the ascendency, Cairns have nobody to match his speed and athleticism, but at the same time he's just not strong enough to go banging against their line-up. Knight, Brandt, and Wagstaff must work hard to hold their own. Knight had a unproductive night yesterday, so hopefully he is fired up.
Cairns should be favourites at home, but Perth can win this.