Snakes smiling their way to the finals
The Taipans are having fun.
While the increased winning always helps, the playing group, compiled by coach Mike Kelly, appears to be one of the more close-knit the club has had in years, with an abundance of smiles on show at training and on game day.
One moment on Friday night against Illawarra showed just how much fun the Snakes are having in season 2019-20.
The game was well and truly over in the second half against the struggling Hawks, but co-captain Nate Jawai put his body on the line to dive on a loose ball, which handed Cairns another offensive possession.
The experienced Jawai slid across the floor to steal the ball back and the bench, led by then resting MVP candidate Scott Machado and the recovering Kouat Noi, celebrated like he had hit a game winning shot.
"This playing group, it is so much fun, it is always better when you are winning," forward Fabijan Krslovic said of his teammates post-game.
"Unfortunately, last year we were not in this position, but we have turned it around, and having fun - everything is positive.
"The vibe and environment is just unreal, everything and everyone is positive.
"We go hard at each other at training, sometimes having arguments, but that is just us working through things and trying to get better.
"We know we have to improve to get that championship, because that is our goal."
Rookie Noi missed again on Friday night with his ankle bone bruising and is edging closer to a return.
THE RUN HOME
Cairns Taipans (Third on the ladder, 15-10)
Adelaide: away - Round 19
Melbourne United: away - Round 20
Brisbane: away - Round 20