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  • Sam Davis

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    Taipans gunslingers head west for Wildcat shootout

    The Cairns Taipans long-range specialists are locked and loaded.

    Sharpshooters Stephen Weigh and Jarrad Weeks won’t be afraid to pull the trigger in hostile territory against a wounded Perth Wildcats at the 14,000-seat Perth Arena this Friday night.

    The Snakes (9-11) super subs delivered timely daggers on Monday against the ‘Cats, shooting a combined 8-13 from behind the arc in a crucial 70-68 win.

    Speaking at Cairns Airport prior to the team’s departure, Weigh says he’s ready to unload again out west.  

    “You can look at it [playing in Perth] as being intimidating, or you can look at it as being fun. It’s a great opportunity to play in front of 15,000 fans,” Weigh says.

    “There’s nowhere else like it in the NBL.

    “We’ll leave it all out there and hopefully that turns into positive things for us.”

    But coach Aaron Fearne says standout performances from Weigh and Weeks alone won’t be enough to get the win.

    “Jarrad and Stevie were sensational but let’s be real,” Fearne says, “Our key guys need to produce.”

    “It’s not a one-man show but we need guys to step it up.”

    Fearne placed plenty of pressure on the broad shoulders of Nate Jawai ahead of the former Wildcat’s return to Perth.

    Jawai struggled with foul trouble on Monday night, finishing with just five points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.

    “He wasn’t great on Monday but we really need him to play well this week,” Fearne says.

    “We need him to intimidate and score in the paint and draw fouls against the opposition.

    “He missed a couple of easy ones and spent some time on the bench with fouls.

    “I want him to be physical, I just don’t want him to commit those non-effective fouls.”

    Star veteran Mark Worthington remains under an injury cloud but has travelled west with the team.

    “We’ll see if we can get him up for this game and then the next one,” Fearne says.

    “He was very good against Melbourne. His experience, aggression and physicality [is important].

    “We’ll try and get what we can get out of him.”

    Weigh says he hopes Worthington suits up.

    “I’m not sure how much he’ll be able to contribute but you know if he’s given the all clear he’ll got out there and play his balls off,” he says.