written by Jarrod McGrouther
The equation is simple, yet the 40 minutes ahead for the Hawks are the toughest faced this season. Win and we’re in; a loss is not an option.
With a topsy-turvy season climaxing this weekend, the Illawarra Hawks are just one win away from clinching what most thought was an improbable finals berth just six months ago.
Coming off a disappointing, low energy loss in Melbourne that would have clinched that lucrative spot, Hawks media spoke with Tim Coenraad and AJ Ogilvy during the week, with the pair opening up on where things went wrong in Melbourne, as well as the huge game tomorrow night.
“We know we didn’t play well (against Melbourne), we know we didn’t have enough fight and the feeling is good going into Saturday because we’re in the situation where we know what we need to do to improve,” said Coenraad.
“We all realise the magnitude of this game.
“We’re in this situation with our backs against the wall and that’s when we produce our best, which is unfortunate to say because we want to be able to reproduce that no matter the situation.”
Ogilvy agreed, adding the squad is still positive despite the application error on Monday; something that has been spoken about at length ahead of tomorrow’s game.
“We’re still positive, we played a good game here against Cairns last week and were sort of high off that and then we disappointed ourselves with that loss in Melbourne,” Ogilvy continued.
“I think that urgency and desire was lacking in Melbourne. We didn’t play with enough intensity and I think that’s the big thing we need to pick up this week.
“We definitely identified that and have discussed it to death almost, so now it’s just a matter of doing it on the weekend.”
With fixtures falling all around the Hawks, including the desperate Breakers, Kings, Wildcats and United all due to play before the game on Saturday, some would argue it would be difficult to focus solely on the game at hand. Not so said Ogilvy.
“We’re focused on our game. We know if we win we’re in so that’s what we’re focused on.”
The Illawarra squad had a light week at training, with one session held on Thursday and another this morning in extreme conditions. With the training done and dusted and the heat partly avoided, the boys are confident that their bodies are ready to go come 5:30 tomorrow night.
It just doesn’t get any bigger than this, win and we’re in; a loss is not an option. Be there and be loud #hawkheads, let’s push our boys across the line and into the NBL finals.
Don’t miss the biggest game of the 2016/17 season this Saturday night at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
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It’s now or never #Hawkheads!!!!!