The Strikers are bracing for another heated encounter with Pascoe Cup cellar-dwellers Junee when the two sides lock horns at O’Connor Park this weekend.
The Jaguars are yet to register a win in 2017 but nothing will be left to chance after the cross-town rivals’ most recent encounter.
Round Four saw the sides fight out a fiery 3-all draw at Burns Park marred with controversy and on-field altercations – most notably the red-carding of a Cootamundra player – and Strikers captain Adam McPhail is anticipating another spicy affair.
“Those games against Junee tend to be a bit fiery,” McPhail said.
“We were pretty disappointed with the draw last time around, so all the boys are pretty pumped for this weekend.”
With his side still two wins off the pace, McPhail knows the importance of securing three competition points from Sunday’s clutch fixture.
“It’s a massive game for us,” he said.
“We’ve spoken about building up some momentum into the final rounds and we can crack that top four over the next few weeks if we get the wins and results go our way.
“But Junee will be tough – they always lift against us and we’ll be lifting as well.”
The Strikers will be boosted by the return of Thomas Phillips to the starting lineup, however Bevan Collins remains unavailable due to ankle concerns.
“Tommy has been training really well and will be back in action but Bevan is still a bit sore, so we’ll hold off there for a while,” McPhail said.
Meanwhile, the reserve grade Strikers will look to build upon their recent run of good form and keep their finals hopes alive with their fifth win in 2017 at O’Connor Park this weekend.
The side has won three of their past four outings, including an impressive 4-1 away victory over South Wagga Warriors, and are currently situated eighth on the Gardiner Shield table with six competition rounds remaining.