Hawks look to Tiggs in Cairns


Rotnei Clarke might be Wollongong's main man, but the Hawks won't be surprised if fellow import Kevin Tiggs steals the show in crunch time in  Saturday night's road meeting with Cairns.

Clarke poured in 27 points when Wollongong beat the Taipans by two at Cairns in round seven. Tiggs also posed problems for the home team, scoring 15 points in 19 minutes.

The pair stood out in last week's thrilling overtime defeat of league leaders Perth, Clarke racking up 28 and Tiggs adding 14.

Tiggs was particularly prominent when the game was tight down the stretch, scoring five points in the fourth quarter and another five in overtime.

The 29-year-old swingman's offensive creativity also drew Perth star James Ennis into a fifth foul in overtime.

Wollongong playmaker Rhys Martin believes Tiggs will continue to blossom over the second half of the season.

"Kev's a little unorthodox the way he plays the game because he's left-handed and he moves in an awkward fashion at times," Martin said.

"But he's very athletic and creative around the basket, and it's certainly something else for our team to look at.

"It was a real team effort against Perth. Rotnei had another great game, but Kevin was probably the best player in overtime. He was fantastic.

"We wanted to focus on fouling Ennis out of the game, and Kevin did a great job getting to the basket. Ennis didn't want to play any defence and he eventually fouled out because he was sick of Kevin going at him."

Wollongong (5-9) moved up to sixth spot with the win over Perth and could rise as high as fourth after this weekend's round-13 games.

Cairns (6-9) snuck into the top four with last week's wins over Perth (12-3) and Sydney (5-8).

Tonight's clash against the Taipans is the first of successive games between the teams, with the Hawks playing host to Cairns next Sunday.

Wollongong are without backup guard Dom Cooks (knee injury). For the Taipans, forward Cam Tragardh (ankle) is sidelined.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide