Wollongong defensive backbone Larry Davidson has rubbished claims by Cairns forward Stephen Weigh that the Taipans were the better team in last week's narrow home loss to the Hawks.
Cairns were clearly on top as they built a 46-33 half-time lead.
But Wollongong stole their thunder, outsmarting the Taipans in the second half to win 82-79.
Weigh told a Cairns newspaper this week that "we were the better team and probably deserved to win".
Davidson believes the point is moot.
"It doesn't necessarily matter who the best team is for the majority of the game, it's who finishes the game the strongest," the 210-centimetre centre said.
"People said to me that we should've won the New Year's Eve game against Melbourne in double overtime, and I always think 'if we should've won, we would've won'. You can be the better team for 39 minutes, but it only takes one minute and the other team can get a win.
"That's how close this comp is, and we've been on both sides of that this year. There's been games where we were the better team for the majority and lost, and there's been games where teams have probably outplayed us but we've come up with a way to win.
"That's where it is now, with everyone being so close. You have to learn how to come up with the plays at the end."
The debate over which team deserved last week's victory should spice up Sunday's rematch at WIN Entertainment Centre.
Wollongong are fifth with a 6-9 record, while the Taipans are seventh with a 6-10 record.
"We looked at tape and saw why we had that slow start, but we also looked at plays we had success with and why they worked," Davidson said.
In their two meetings, Wollongong came from behind in both games to prevail in close finishes.
"I don't know about a psychological edge, but I guess the edge would be that we know what worked against them last time and if we stick to that, we showed in the second half what we can do if we come out and play the way we're supposed to," Davidson said.