NO round-two game is truly 'must-win' but Monday's home clash against Cairns is pretty close to it for Illawarra.
The match will see both sides looking for their first win of the season at the WEC, the Hawks looking to bounce back from a 27-point thumping at the hands of Perth on Friday night.
The Taipans are also looking to break their duck after surrendering halftime leads to go down heavily to Sydney and Brisbane in their opening two games.
The Hawks are on the road to undefeated South East Melbourne in round three and could be staring down the barrel of an 0-4 start if they can't hold home floor against the equally desperate Snakes.
It will also require a strong mental bounce back after what was a demoralising defeat at the hands of the Cats on Friday.
"They're a great team, they've really got no weaknesses and the environment you come to play in is tough," coach Matt Flinn said post-match.
"We spoke about it, you expect it, it's how you deal with it. We had a game plan in place and we worked really hard at it. When we got what we knew we were going to get we didn't deal with it that well.
"Full credit to Perth, they held serve, they did what they're expected to do which was win at home and they won well. We won't dwell on it too much.
"We won't point the finger at anyone, we'll put the hard hats back on and go back to work. We've got a short turnaround, we've got Cairns on Monday and they're like us, 0-2, so it's going to be a real battle."
The Hawks can take some confidence from a good record against the Snakes, sweeping them last season and winning their past six meetings, five of them at the Sandpit.
However, they will need to find a remedy for the shooting woes that have plagued them over their first two outings having hit just nine of 49 shots from long range.
That stat-line has them running last in three-point percentage (18.4 per cent) while their 60 per cent from the foul-line is also the worst in the league.
Rookie sensation LaMelo Ball leads the Hawks in scoring (13.5) and assists (six) but has not been immune to his side's issues from long range having hit just 1-11 from the perimeter.
Flinn is confident that will turn, saying the 21 offensive boards his side gave up against the Cats was a more pressing concern.
"They're just so good at wearing you down, when you're giving up possession, particularly on the offensive glass, you're on a hiding to nothing," Flinn said.
"It's disappointing but credit to our guys, we fought hard in the second half of that game with the young guys out there and we won the last quarter.
"We've been leaking points which is a concern but we've been gradually trying to build systems in place to get that understanding one through to five."
Friday's performance also prompted questions about rotations, with star import Aaron Brooks - who top-scored with 23 points in week one - playing just 14 minutes from the bench for three points.
"We've all been around the game long enough [to know] sometimes it's just not your night," Flinn said.
"We've got full faith in Aaron, he's one of the top echelon players in this league. We've seen it day in day out, it can just not be your night sometimes.
"There's no question we want to put him spots, we've got a good system to do that. At times we're a little clunky in our offense, there's no question. It's a new group, it's a young group, it's going to take some time.
"We've got a really unique group in this team, we've got a young back court and we're [still] trying to find our spots."