MACQUARIE opener Andrew Page believes the transition to two-day cricket has been behind his side's three-game Whitney Cup winning streak.
After losing their first two matches of the season, Macquarie got going with a narrow win over RSL-Colts in a round three one-day game but have impressed since the competition switched to long form cricket, registering wins over Souths and CYMS in that time.
With a deep batting line-up, the chance to bat out their overs has seen the Blues post totals of 300 or above in their past two matches and Page is hoping to lead the way to another big score when his side faces defending premiers Rugby in a two-day clash starting at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
"Things didn't look too good early but over the past three rounds we've turned things around and we're playing some good cricket," Page said.
"We've got ourselves into the top three and we've beaten Colts along the way so if we can come out and beat Rugby it will prove that we have a team capable of having a go at the title.
"Two-day cricket suits us because we are a team that likes to bat for a while and we have a middle and lower order that can have a real crack in the last 25 overs."
Both sides will have players missing due to rep duty, with Macquarie fast bowler Declan Hoare and Rugby batsman Jordan Moran both on duty with the Western Zone side playing in Sunday's country championship final at Orange.
That will make for an interesting decision for the captain that wins the toss.
"I'm not sure how it will pan out if 'Greeny' (Jason Green) wins the toss for us," Page admitted.
"Obviously it would be nice to bowl to them without Jordan but at the same time we'd be bowling without our main quick bowler so it's a bit of a dilemma.
"We haven't spoken about it as a team but Greeny will come up with something I'm sure if he wins the toss."
With CYMS snapping at their heels in the race for third spot, Page said Macquarie knows they need to keep winning.
And they would love nothing more than to be entrenched in that top three when the Christmas break comes around.
"I think if we can be in there at the break then it will set us up because we can just worry about ourselves," Page said.
"If we keep winning, we'll be there and we won't have to keep an eye on other results.
"Not only would a win in this game help keep us in front of CYMS but it would bring us right up onto Rugby's tail as well so we have a fair bit to play for."