There is every chance the grand final pitches will be lively next weekend but if the past month is anything to go by, Rugby has the side to deal with that.
The in-form Rugby side advanced to the RSL-Pinnington Cup decider on the weekend after brushing aside CYMS by 132 runs in the semi-final.
Once again it was the batting which set up the win. Rugby piled on 8/264 on Saturday before bowling the Cougars out for 132 on Sunday.
“The last four weeks we’ve scored more than 250 when batting, which is pleasing,” captain Glenn Shepherd said.
“The manner of the win was great, it was a genuine team effort.
The manner of the win was great, it was a genuine team effort.
“One person got 50 and there was three thirties and then there was four two-wicket hauls. It shows we’re going well and gives us confidence if one person doesn’t do it, others can.”
With rain around on Monday, and more expected during the week, it might be tricky for whichever side bats first in the Saturday’s grand finals.
Rugby will take on minor premiers RSL-Colts in the decider, a side well-known for its depth, but Shepherd his confidence his lineup is ready for whatever conditions are on hand after a number of different players made runs in the past month.
“It gives us confidence but its also good everyone had had a hit,” he said.
“Some sides’ lower orders haven’t had a hit in a while but we’re pretty lucky. We had Garry Goodman at number 11 so we’ve got that extra depth and it might come in handy if the pitch is a bit lively.”
Shepherd was particularly proud of his younger batsmen, with openers Lachlan Harper (50) and Campebll Rose (34) adding 72 for the first wicket while Max Rumble chipped in with 37.
The Cougars were made to toil in the field and a number of dropped catches didn’t help their chances.
Tom Saul took 3/41 from 10 while Josh Thompson took 2/72 and Callan Braithwaite finished with 1/8 from 11.
With a huge chase ahead the Cougars needed to start well but that didn’t happen as they were reduced to 5/37.
Tom Coady (26) and Darryl Thompson (22) showed the fight but the task was far too much.
“Obviously you’ve got the psychological edge because its hard going at four runs an over from the start,” Shepherd said.
“But they showed fight in the second session and for 15-16 overs we didn’t take a wicket but that first session set it up.”
Harper claimed 2/20 from 10 while Strath Munro (2/19), Adlai Shipp (2/23) and Garry Goodman (2/21) also impressed.
“A lot of blokes were up filling holes in first grade because of rep cricket early on so its been pleasing to play with a reasonably stable team and it’s great to see the younger guys stepping up,” Shepherd added.