It has been played 15 times, with the Taipans dominating the series since 2007 with a 5-2 record, winning the previous four seasons straight to lead the series 8-7.
A look through Ireland’s Cup results is a veritable who’s who of Taipans history.
The highest individual scoring tally (38 points) is held jointly by Ben Knight (9 November 2002) and Martin Cattalini (11 September 2005), who led their Taipans side to a win in each of those games.
Nathan Jawai’s memorable home debut in September 2007 marked another Ireland’s Cup win, the youngster setting the wheels in motion for his future NBA and Australian Boomers career with 27 points on 9-of-10 shooting, as the Taipans cruised to a 99-75 win on 22 September 2007.
Jamar Wilson’s debut in Taipans colours sealed another Cup win, the guard tallying 9 of his 23 points in the game’s final two minutes to seal the 81-76 win on 8 October 2011. He would finish that season as NBL MVP runner up while collecting Taipans club MVP honours.
Cameron Tragardh starred in his first two Ireland’s Cup matches, tallying 20 points in 2012, then 24 points at 69 percent in 2013. In fact, Tragardh has played on both sides of the Ireland’s Cup rivalry, making an appearance in Crocs colours at the age of 21 in 2005.
Ireland’s Cup Results
|Taipans win 97-77||Exhibition game – did not count towards NBL ladder points.|
|Crocs win 99-87||Al Hamilton, Rashamal Jones and Andre Moore all record double-doubles as the Taipans storm home with a 27-11 fourth quarter, but the Snakes can’t rein in a 25-point deficit at the final break and just fall short.|
|Crocs win 105-90||A 29-17 third quarter blitz sets up the Crocs win, despite a Jayson Wells double-double (18 points ,14 boards) and 23 points from Ben Knight. Rob Rose adds a game-high 31 points for Townsville.|
|Taipans win 118-104||Ben Knight scores 38 points on 14-19 field goals to go with his 8 rebounds.|
|Crocs win 91-88||Despite Marcus Timmons (23 points) and Anthony Stewart (22 points) shooting a combined 10-of-18 three pointers, the Crocs steal the narrow win.|
|Crocs win 100-98||Aaron Grabu scores 28 points (4-of-8 three-points) and Chris Burgess tallies 17 points and 16 rebounds, but Casey Calvary and Robert Brown lead the Crocs to the narrow win.|
|Taipans win 105-90||Martin Cattalini pours in 38 points and Darnell Mee adds 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Snakes turn a 2-point deficit at the final break into the 15-point win. A fresh-faced 21-year-old Cameron Tragardh played 2:29 for Townsville.|
|Crocs win 93-92||Martin Cattalini sinks 5-of-9 three-pointers for 34 points and 10 rebounds but the Crocs prevail in a close one.|
|Taipans win 99-75||Nathan Jawai impresses in his first home game for the Taipans with 27 points on 9-of-10 shooting, 9-of-10 free throws, seven rebounds, one block and one steal in 31 minutes. Head coach Alan Black tells NBL.com.au after the game: “I think it’s the way in which he plays, it’s the energy he brings, he’s fronting the post, he’s got terrific feet and he goes hard to the defensive glass. It’s those things that make you a great player. Obviously it was a fantastic offensive effort (tonight), full credit to him, he finished really well. But there will be games where that magic doesn’t work, and if he continues to bring those other things to the table, he’ll be a fantastic NBL player.”|
|Crocs win 94-90||Martin Cattalini tallies 25 points and Ian Crosswhite adds 17 points and 9 rebounds, but the Crocs finish the fourth quarter strongly behind Corey “Homicide” Williams’ 24 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds to seal the 4-point win.|
|Crocs win 85-70||Corey Williams (21 points) and Mick Cedar (20 points, 4-of-7 triples) lead the Crocs comfortably past Cairns. Phil Jones top-scores with 17 points for the Snakes.|
|Taipans win 56-51||Only three Taipans score more than 7 points as the Taipans prevail in an arm-wrestle, 56-51, a prelude to that season’s semi-finals.|
|Taipans win 81-76||Jamar Wilson scores 9 points in two minutes to seal the Taipans win in his first NBL season, in which he would finish as runner-up NBL MVP.Match report.|
|Taipans win 84-72||Cameron Tragardh scores 20 on debut for the Taipans, while future NBL rookie of the year Cameron Gliddon (9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) sparked the Taipans mid-way through the game to give the Snakes a lead heading into the final term.|
|Taipans win 87-74||Cameron Gliddon and Cameron Tragardh dominated proceedings, Tragardh at his best inside as he racked up 24 points at 69 per cent, while Gliddon was a picture of poise as he compiled 15 points, six rebounds and six assists.|
|Taipans win 91-82||Cameron Tragardh stars for the third year in a row with a double-double for Cairns (22 points, 13 rebounds), front court running partner Alex Loughton adding 21 points as the Taipans claim their 5th straight Ireland’s Cup.|