Home win a must for Fearne and his Taipans
THERE is no escaping the pressure the Taipans are under tonight against the Kings. And their coach Aaron Fearne is certainly not immune to it.
If there is one thing the developing coach is used to, it is winning at home.
But that has not happened in their past three games in Cairns and they will need to snap out of it against Sydney, who have won 14 and lost just four times in the Far North.
"There's pressure. There's expectation. We've had 10-plus wins at home three years in a row. Our crowd expects us to win here and that's the way it should be," he said.
You need not remind Fearne of when the Kings were here last, with former player Ian Crosswhite and rival coach Shane Heal fast becoming a thorn in Fearne's side walking out of the building grinning like Cheshire cats.
Moments earlier they had won, despite trailing by five inside the final minute.
"It was until last week," Fearne said when asked if that was the worst loss he had endured as a coach.
"You know, to be up 16 in the third (against Wollongong last Saturday night) and lose by 14; a 30-point turn-around in 15 minutes is amazing.
"It was disheartening, you question everything you do."
He hoped the players' chipper mood yesterday meant that self-doubt had passed.
"You can see by their chatter that they are bubbly and excited to play," he said.
"We know we haven't played great ball lately and that's frustrating, but we want to change that tonight."
The motivation is there to improve their record to 4-5, get one back against Heal, deny Crosswhite joy on his 30th birthday take your pick.
"Yeah for sure (it hurts seeing Heal leave Cairns with victory)," Fearne said.
"People fire you up, it gets me fired up and excited and I want to put a stop to it."
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"There's pressure": Taipans coach Aaron Fearne says locals expect their team to win at home. Picture: ANNA ROGERS.