The Deni Rhinos return to action tomorrow when they travel to take on Cobram in a battle of third versus fourth in the Murray Valley Cricket Association.
The two sides will meet for day one of their two-day round 11 clash, with a win crucial if either side want to finish in the top two at season’s end.
The last time they met, the Rhinos cruised to a 108-run victory in a one-dayer.
Rhinos coach John Arthur said he expects a much tougher match.
‘‘You can’t look back at the early season wins and expect a similar outcome,’’ he said.
‘‘They weren’t at their best that game as it was early in the season, and they will be tough to beat this time.
‘‘Every game from this point on will be tough. This is the defining eight weeks and we need a win to start us off.’’
The Rhinos have been in excellent form, dropping just two games before the Christmas break and claiming seven wins.
Their form has been reflected with the selection of Andrew Hogan, Zeniffe Fowler and Jonty Tubb for the association representative side for the Country Week carnival, which starts on Monday in Bendigo.
With three of his star players taking on a week of cricket before day two of the clash against Cobram, Arthur said a dominant start will be needed.
‘‘We trained last week and again this week to prepare for the game and ensure a strong start,’’ he said.
‘‘With Hoges (Hogan), Zeniffe and Jonty playing in Country Week they’ll be quite sore come day two.
‘‘With that in mind we must go out with a purpose on Saturday.
‘‘Hopefully we can bat first, hit that benchmark of 200 plus runs and put the pressure on Cobram.
‘‘We need to take ownership of our 80 overs with the bat. We bat low in our order so I’m confident we can put them on the back foot.
‘‘If we have to bowl first then I’m hoping we can have a similar bowling performance like the last time we faced Cobram.
‘‘It’s unlikely that we’d get them all out for 83 runs again but we can at least try and contain their batters a bit.’’
Deni’s Division One side hosts ladder leader Waaia at Memorial Park tomorrow.