2016/17 RSL/Whitney Cup: Macquarie looking to turn things around against Newtown

HITTING OUT: Nic Cosier has returned to the Macquarie lineup in recent weeks and is one of the batsmen captain Keiran Brien has been trying to find the right position for. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

HITTING OUT: Nic Cosier has returned to the Macquarie lineup in recent weeks and is one of the batsmen captain Keiran Brien has been trying to find the right position for. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The nature of this season’s RSL-Whitney Cup has left Macquarie captain Kerian Brien remaining positive despite his side’s three straight losses.

A change in the points system and the evenness of the competition means the Blues remains fourth despite having only won twice in five rounds.

The Blues are only one point behind Souths, who remain second despite only winning once this summer, heading into Saturday’s clash with Newtown at No. 1 Oval.

“It’s more frustrating than worrying,” Brien said of his side’s form.

“We’re not really behind, there’s only a couple of points between second and last so it’s not worrying but frustrating we can’t really get any momentum.”

This weekend’s clash with Newtown is the perfect chance for Macquarie to get its season up and running again, according to Brien.

The Blues skipper said the one-day matches suits the Tigers style of play and a win over them would be a big confidence boost for his side.

Confidence is something Newtown mat be slightly lacking after an 88 run mauling at the hands of competition leaders Colts last week.

“It would be a big boost beating Newtown because they’re a side which suits one day cricket,” Brien said.

“If we can get over them it would bring back some positivity but it will be a tough challenge.

“They bat low and have got good bowlers in (Skinner brothers) Steve and Mat so it’s a tough challenge.”

Macquarie will be without opening bowler Jeremy Dickson this weekend but Haylock brothers Ed and Joe return.

James Hughes also comes into the side and is expected to take the new ball with Ben Taylor, while in other changes, Hamish Smith also returns to the lineup while Angus Norton and Ryan O’Connor drop out.

Brien said the changing lineup has been one thing which has effected his side’s momentum but added finding the right batting and bowling combinations in one-day cricket was another.

“And the competition is very even this season,” Brien side.

“Especially in the one-day cricket where in five overs can everything can change and you can lose a match.”

As Brien pointed out, Steve and Mat Skinner will again be key for Newtown, but in Dan Holland and Charlie Kempston there are other dangers in the batting lineup.

In terms of the Tigers bowling attack, Troy Tracey has been solid this season when called upon while Tom Skinner returned to the lineup last week to take the new ball.

All the weekend’s RSL-Whitney Cup matches start at 1pm.

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