Rhi­nos set to host Mur­ray Val­ley’s big guns

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - SPORT - By JAMIE LOWE

Deni Rhi­nos have a mas­sive dou­ble header at home this week­end as they look to es­tab­lish them­selves as a se­ri­ous threat in Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion’s Pre­mier Grade.

After post­ing a win in round one, to­mor­row the Rhi­nos take-on com­pe­ti­tion heavy­weight Ba­rooga be­fore back­ing up against peren­nial fi­nal­ist Waaia on Sun­day. Both matches are 45-over fix­tures.

Rhi­nos coach John Arthur says he is con­fi­dent his side can come away with two wins.

‘‘If we want to be con­sid­ered one of the bet­ter sides then we need to beat teams like Waaia and Ba­rooga,’’ he said.

‘‘We have the tal­ent in the side that can match it with them and we’re con­fi­dence after last week’s win.

‘‘I’ve never been in­volved in a game where I didn’t think we could win. We need to send a state­ment to the rest of the com­pe­ti­tion early and set our­selves up to be in a po­si­tion to play fi­nals.’’

Boost­ing the Rhi­nos’ stocks will be the re­turn of pace bowlers Liam Pitts and Ben Ir­win, with off-spin­ner Jack Tonta also avail­able for selec­tion.

Pitts will most likely open the bowl­ing, while vet­eran An­thony Bradley will look to con­tinue his form from last week when he guided the side to vic­tory with an un­beaten half cen­tury.

‘‘If we can have Wrig­gler (Bradley) bat like he did last week and have An­drew Hogan and Brad Todd spend the ma­jor­ity of the time in the mid­dle then we will be in a win­ning po­si­tion. full of

‘‘I’m hop­ing to have all play­ers avail­able over the two days, but de­pend­ing on avail­abil­ity there could be a cou­ple of changes made for the Sun­day team.’’

Both Ba­rooga and Waaia are com­ing off im­pres­sive wins.

Last week the Hawks were steered home thanks to an open­ing part­ner­ship of 96 be­tween Sam Leigh (70) and Ri­ley Gow (37), while an un­beaten 124 by Bray­den Carey se­cured vic­tory for the Bombers.

‘‘Our bowl­ing will need to be at its ab­so­lute best this week­end,’’ Arthur said.

‘‘We need to avoid giv­ing away wides and no balls, be­cause the ex­tras can come back to haunt you.

‘‘We have plenty of bowl­ing op­tions with Dy­lan Rother­ham, Brad Todd and An­drew Hogan bowl­ing well last week. Add in Pitts and Ir­win and you’re look­ing at a solid bowl­ing line-up.

‘‘The early round games can make or break your sea­son and we don’t want to be play­ing catch-up like last year.

‘‘We still have our over­seas im­port to come into the side as well when he ar­rives.’’

Both Pre­mier games start at 12.30pm, with Arthur en­cour­ag­ing lo­cals to sup­port the side at Me­mo­rial Park’s lush num­ber three oval.

‘‘We’re still look­ing for more play­ers too, so if any­one’s in­ter­ested they should pop down and see what it’s all about,’’ Arthur said.

‘‘The fact that we’re play­ing at home for both games should help us out a lit­tle bit.

‘‘We’d love to see lo­cals come and sup­port us.’’

The Rhi­nos’ Di­vi­sion One side will also be play­ing at home for their first game of the year against Tocumwal to­mor­row. The match starts at 1pm on Me­mo­rial Park oval one.

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