Baa Baas play Hillgrove

REDEMPTION: Brad Rafferty's Barbarians will be aiming for their first win when they take on Matt Schaefer's Hillgrove on Saturday.
REDEMPTION: Brad Rafferty's Barbarians will be aiming for their first win when they take on Matt Schaefer's Hillgrove on Saturday.

The Barbarians will have to overcome a soaring Hillgrove – who annihilated Guyra in round one – to secure their first win of the season when the two sides collide this Saturday.

The Baa Baas fell to Easts in their opening game of the season and will aim to step up against the premiers. 

“We probably didn't play last week with the greatest bowling attack I suppose you could say, not to take anything away from the boys that did bowl but it wasn't the best bowling attack and we were a bit slow in the field,” Barbarians captain Brad Rafferty said. 

“We will try and make a few changes here and there and get some speed in the field and some more bowlers.” 

Hillgrove’s bowlers ripped through Guyra have them all out for just 57 but Rafferty is confident his batsman can stand up to the task. 

“I think we'll go alright. I don't think it was so much our batting that let us down, it was just pretty ordinary conditions,” he said. 

The Baa Baas quickly made themselves a reputation last for stealing a game from their opponents when all seemed lost. Teams have learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to the Barbarians and Hillgrove captain Matt Schaefer believes it will be the same case on Saturday. 

“They're one of those sides that can take it away from you really quickly and one individual piece of cricket can really turn a match,” he said earlier this week. 

“We won't underestimate them and we will just go out there and try to play our best cricket.”

Sean Skinner was one of the standout bowlers against Guyra but will miss this week’s game. 

“We have Jack Carey coming in for Sean Skinner so that is likely going to change how we approach the game,” Schaefer said.

Guyra’s welcome to the top tier meanwhile doesn’t get any easier as they seek their first win, facing an Armidale City side coming off a comfortable victory over Ex-Services.

City’s Karl Triebe finished with 6-6 in the opening round and said despite Guyra taking a beating against the premiers, he expects them to be better against his side. 

“They did have a big loss but you can never underestimate your opponent and we know how dangerous some of those guys from Guyra can be so we are definitely going to go in expecting them putting on their best performance,” Triebe said. 

“Discipline” will be the key to winning the game.

“It is probably just more the discipline of bowlers and batting on both sides,” he said. 

Guyra captain Charlie Keen lamented the batsmen “threw their wicket away too easily” which contributed to the defeat. 

“This weekend it’s pretty straightforward in getting the win against City,” he said. 

“[We] just need to be a bit more patient with the bat.”

In the other game Servies will be seeking redemption with the bat when they face Easts. Servies captain John Elliot was disappointed with his side’s batting performance against City after a decent bowling performance.

Servies restricted City to 144 in their round one game but fell apart when it was their turn to bat. 

“What we did again against City, we bowled them out for what I thought was a reasonable total,” Elliot said. 

“We just can't afford to lose wickets in clumps, that's our biggest downfall at the moment.”

Bowler Josh Targett was a standout against City despite the loss but Elliot said the whole side will have to be better to beat Easts this Saturday. 

“Easts, they're class right across the park,” Elliot said. 

“You have the experience of Todd Francis, Matt Jackson and Sam Uphill and they have boosted the batting line-up by having Dean Moore return. 

“And then you have the bowlers, again the experience of Sam Uphill leading the attack and then young Jackson Gwynne who is going in leaps and bounds and backed up by his brother Mitch.”

Elliot hopes his team will show a bit more “fight” in the game this Saturday.

Easts captain Sam Uphill is aiming for his side to consolidate their victory against the Barbarians in round one. 

“I think Servies have a couple of players in there that can take a game away from you as well, a bit like Baa Baas,” he said. 

“The key is to score runs and take wickets I suppose, take your chances. It is going to be a tough game either way, Servies knocked us off last year once and we had a couple of tough battles with them so I expect the same thing from them really.”