Tigers aim to be on cloud nine

Tigers' Kate Bellamy. Photo: ROBERT CRAWFORD

Tigers' Kate Bellamy. Photo: ROBERT CRAWFORD

THE Kennedys Tours Shoalhaven Tigers women’s team will look to continue their perfect start to the Waratah League Division One season this Saturday.

Kerrianne Allan’s team, who have won their opening eight matches, will welcome the Goulburn Bears to the Tigers Den from 5pm – attempting to chalk up win number nine.

Team captain Olivia Patterson, who is one third of the dynamic back-court combination alongside Kate Denyer and Kate Bellamy, is excited to have a chance to continue their streak.

“It's definitely been a great start having the wins there but that doesn't reflect to much of our opponents,” Patterson said.

“We have been pushed in a fair few games and only just come out on top.

“Potentially there have been games where it should not of been that close in the end but that shows we have to play the entire game and not become complacent.

“We have four more games to play before finals start, starting with this Saturday against Goulburn and it would be great to continue this undefeated streak but we are going to have to work for that.”

The Tigers will go in confident against the Bears, having already defeated them 77-63 on May 13.

“We have to play for the full 40 minutes and have no lapse at any stages

during the game,” Patterson said.

“Goulburn are a team that never give up and are always in the contest for the game - they might be down by 20 but you can never count them out.

“We just need to continue doing what we have been doing; play as a team, everyone play their role and work for one another and play hard.

“Fitness is a big factor at this point in the competition, so we need to make sure we play a running style of a game to get in front and then just work hard to stay in front.

“They have some very good quality players so we are going to have to work for it.”

Following the women’s game on Saturday, Ian Ozolins’ men’s side, who are 7-4 on the season, will battle the Dubbo Rams – who have won three of their past four matches.

“We definitely can’t underestimate Dubbo, who have found some real form lately and are steadily moving up the ladder,” Ozolins said,

“The main thing with them is containing import Conrad Etchi (who is averaging 26 points/game) and limiting his impact on the game.

”If we can do that and force their other players to beat us, it will go a long way to us getting the win.”

Ozolins’ side will be boosted by the return of centre Jackson Weeks, who has missed the past three matches with an ankle injury.

Weeks’ return is even more timely considering his Tigers team play two matches this weekend – travelling to Queanbeyan on Sunday to play the Yowies from 2pm at the Queanbeyan Basketball Stadium.

“The Queanbeyan game is one all the boys want to get, after losing by just one point at home to them a couple of weeks ago,” Ozolins said.

“If we can chalk up two wins this weekend, it will go a long way to securing us a finals spot, with only a handful of matches remaining.

“I know, if we play like we did in our last match at Wagga Wagga, we can match it with anyone in this league, so it’s up to the boys to continue that strong play – which I know they can.”

The men tip-off at 7pm on Saturday.