The result of tomorrow’s round six Haisman Shield clash between the Northerners and Old Students could go a long way to shaping both teams’ seasons.
The Jets sit fifth on the ladder with two wins and a draw, but a second straight loss tomorrow would have the Students (seventh) draw to within just three points of their rivals.
Northerners coach Steve Allen knows just how important victory would be to his charges.
‘‘This is as big a game as we’ve had so far, and the same goes for Old Students,’’ he said.
‘‘We understand the enormity of the task at hand and we do need to get that win on the board to stay in touch with those top teams.’’
After only managing 9-123 against Numurkah last week, Allen will urge his charges to knuckle down with the bat tomorrow — a cause which will be helped by the return of captain Mitch Brett (154 runs at an average of 38.50).
‘‘Our batting was poor last week, so the first 10 or so overs will be really important,’’ Allen said.
‘‘The Students have a really strong and deep batting line-up, so our bowlers will need to be disciplined too.’’
With Felix Odell (255 runs at an average of 51), Gino Saracino (174 at 43.50), Nick Breslin (149 at 29.80) and Daniel Coombs (148 at 29.60) all in the top 12 run-scorers of the competition, captain Luke McPhillamy’s Students have scored 68 more runs than any other team (1028), but have also conceded 82 more than the competition (1160).
‘‘We’re batting and bowling okay, we just need to string all three parts (including fielding) together this weekend,’’ McPhillamy said.
‘‘We really need a win.’’
New imports Waqar Ali and Faisal Khan played B-grade cricket last week to help them adjust to Australian conditions, and could prove to be the boost the reigning premier needs to climb the ladder once more.
‘‘They will certainly be in the mix this week, the team hasn’t been selected yet but I think they’ll be up with us,’’ McPhillamy said.
‘‘The Northerners will be a good scalp if we can get the win.’’