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Forde’s Line in the Sand for Taipans

Cairns Taipans coach Adam Forde has called out his players, questioning their character and will to win ahead of Saturday’s Sunshine Stoush against the Brisbane Bullets.

After a positive start to the campaign, the Taipans have lost three straight games and Forde has lit a fire under his group to try and elicit a response.

“I really challenged the guys. There’s a question of character…how badly do we want to win?” Forde said.

“That’s what this week has been, that’s what the film review was, I wasn’t happy with how we went about film review.

“We’ve lined everybody up and we are questioning people’s character, so I want to see how they respond.

“It’s testing their manhood, it’s testing their state of mind, it’s testing their competitive spirit, it’s testing them to be a professional.

“We got to get a little bit more killer or hungriness.”

Forde explained how he used examples from Cairns’ recent loss to Illawarra to try and challenge his players.

“How upset do you get when someone gets the upper hand on you? That’s what I’ve questioned these guys on, this is what I have challenged them on,” he said.

“How much pride do you take when Tyler Harvey rips it on you and drills a three in your face? How much pride do you take when Duop Reath spins baseline and finishes a reverse?

“Are you just nonchalant and whatever, or are you going to knuckle down and say I’m not going to let that happen again and puff your chest out and take some pride?”

While Forde admitted the response from the group in training on Wednesday was good, he knows the true test and answers will come on game days.

The coach has trust that his players will bring effort, but he wants to see a greater commitment to winning.

“I don’t doubt these guys playing hard. I don’t doubt these guys go out here with the idea that they want to be competitive,” Forde said.

“Maybe where their mindset is on, what it takes to win, and where they think is winning, is a little bit off. When we try to realign that, that’s where we sort of test them.

“We put a line in the sand. You’re a paid professional, do your job.

“It’s not up to anyone else but the individual to respond. They’re going to find themselves on the outside if they don’t want to live up to the standards and expectations of everyone else.”

Forde also scoffed at the idea that the Cairns Convention Centre is a fortress.

The Taipans have won two of their four home games this season and Forde doesn’t think the club is intimidating their rivals.

“I hear this term that Cairns is like a fortress…it’s not a fortress, we have lost two games in a row, no one is scared to come here,” Forde said.

“This is what I put on them, no one is scared to play us. So, what are you going to do about it?”

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