WAGGA RSL captain-coach Sam Perry hopes some new faces in their batting line-up will spark some healthy competitive among the Bulldogs top six in Saturday's important clash with Kooringal Colts at Harris Park.
The unavailability of top order batsmen Ethan Perry and Will Morley has paved the way for Savi Don and Jasion Greer to make their debuts after solid second grade seasons. Club newcomer Jasion Greer will also make his first grade debut in the middle order.
Perry is looking for a response after they were routed for just 92 by defending premier South Wagga, and at one point the Bulldogs were 3-3.
Wagga RSL is third on the ladder with 18 points, equal with fourth-placed Lake Albert, and could virtually seal a top four spot against the Colts.
Kooringal (ten points) simply must win with four rounds left to stay in contention, especially given they have matches against top two sides South Wagga and Wagga City to come.
"We've got five senior teams and this is probably the perfect opportunity to put pressure on guys who have played the high level and feel like they just deserve to play instead of earning it," Perry said.
"It might put pressure on guys to perform and help us score some more runs.
"This week it's imperative we win. We've been pretty slack in terms of results the last two or three weeks, including the T20 stuff and last week was obviously disappointing.
"But it's a great opportunity to shore up a finals spot. The Colts would see it as a must win game as well so it's quite an important one.
"If we can score 150-200 I think we can probably miss most games. Batting is the key."
The Colts have found some form after a dominant win over the Cats to finish the Twenty20 campaign was followed by a crushing win over St Michaels.
They will be without bowling spearhead Hamish Starr due to Riverina representative duty.
Hanigan said they're keen for senior players to take on the batting responsibility left by the departure of David Bolton, who began his trek home to WA last week.
"We've probably relied on 'Bolts' in the past too much, and we've found that out this year," he said.
"We always knew we would miss him, but looking back we've missed him even more than we realised.
"It's in the past and I'd love to have him back, but it gives the senior blokes a chance to take on more of the workload Dave had.
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