Illawarra Hawks Waratah League coach Tory Forrester is confident his team can emerge from a gruelling weekend with a pair of victories.
The Hawks will be forced to face a unique challenge, with the side taking on the Canberra Gunners Academy in Canberra on Saturday night. They will stay overnight in Canberra before they hit the road to travel to Wagga Wagga on Sunday morning for a rescheduled match with the Wagga Wagga Heat.
The Hawks enter the double-header in good form, having dismantled Lithgow 104-56 last weekend.
Despite the expected difficulties that are likely to pop up, Forrester has high hopes the team will return to Wollongong with two wins.
"If we play like we did against Lithgow, we're in with a good shot," Forrester said. "We'll try to build from that performance as best we can.
"We're as prepared as we can be for this weekend. It will be more about fatigue management than anything else. We'll take one game at a time, our main priority is to beat Canberra first, then we can prepare ourselves for Wagga on Sunday."
As the competition approaches its midway point, the Hawks sit in second on the ladder with just the one loss to Sutherland.
Forrester credits the team's defence and unselfishness for their success throughout the first half of the season and he is looking to see continued improvements from his side in those two areas in this weekend's games.
"Canberra are young and will run and try to test our fitness given we're an older team. I guarantee our fitness will hold up though. They will also be fundamentally sound, their coach is a very good coach so will have them prepared for us.
"Wagga's also got some good players, they have an import who can get 10 points and 10 rebounds very easily and one of their guards, Zac Maloney, was training with the Hawks NBL team.
"We are going to make everyone else beat us, rather than those two. We'll be looking to shut them down and limit their points, make someone else be their main scorer."
With the Illawarra senior team hitting the road this weekend, the youth side will be back home and looking to rebound from last week's 65-66 loss to Hills.
The Hawks will play Maitland on Saturday afternoon, with Angus Glover set to play his first game back home after an impressive return last week.
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