HAMILTON — As the Hamilton Tiger-Cats prepare for the Eastern Semi-Final against the BC Lions, the regular season meetings between these two teams aren’t on anyone’s mind.
Instead, head coach June Jones is looking forward, knowing his team needs to play their best football of the year if they want to move on to the next round of playoffs.
“I don’t read too much into it other than we had a chance to beat them twice,” Jones said of the regular season contests against the Lions after Tuesday’s practice at an indoor facility in Ancaster.
“They’re a tough team to beat and they’ll play as good as they played on the road this week and we’re going to have to play the best we can play.”
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In Week 15, the Lions roared back in the fourth quarter, orchestrating a stunning come-from-behind overtime victory. The second meeting, in Week 16, saw the Ticats dominate in almost ever phase to come away with the win.
Bralon Addison could slot into the lineup this weekend, having his best outing of the season against the Montreal Alouettes in Week 21. In the final week of the regular season, the five-foot-nine, 197-pound pass-catcher hauled in 103 yards and a major score.
“I thought Bralon played good. He’s going to continue to go,” Jones said of Addison, who played in Week 15’s game against the Lions and registered one catch for 10 yards.
“I saw it last week in practice,” the Ticats bench boss continued, explaining what he’s seen in Addison of late. “When he played about, three weeks ago, he didn’t really know what he was doing but he made plays. I could tell the game’s not too big for him. He’s been in big games before and I’m pleased with what I’ve seen in him.”
Running back Alex Green didn’t see the field in either regular season matchup against the Leos, sitting out with an injury to his shoulder. John White filled in and exploded onto the scene in both contests – collecting a total of 171 yards on the ground and a major score.
Despite White’s success against BC, Jones is looking to his feature back, Green, to slot in on game day.
“Alex has done a great job every time he’s been in the game so he’s going to play,” said Jones, confirming his starting tailback.
“It’s going to be a big, tough game,” said Green. “It’s the matchup that you look forward to since the beginning of the season. This is what you prepare for all season long, what you grind for in the off-season. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
“This is win or go home, at this point,” linebacker Don Unamba said, explaining the magnitude of Sunday’s contest. “It doesn’t matter what you did in the regular season. If you went undefeated in the regular season and lost the first game, you’re out of the playoffs.
“It’s a new season, you have to look at it like that. One game at a time and you have to win now.”