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HOCKEY INDIA LEAGUE
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Rhinos Vs UP Wizards tomorrow (1/23/2013)
--s2h team
PREVIEW: All eyes will be on tomorrow's encounter between Ranchi Rhinos and Uttar Pradesh Wizards, as it will set the tempo for the remainder of this tournament.

undefined The Wizards have won two matches while drawing two of their four matches, and are trailing league leaders Delhi Waveriders by three points. The Rhinos, on the other hand, have lost a bit of steam after making a rousing start, and would seek to register a victory over the visitors before flying out to Lucknow for a return fixture 48 hours later.

The Wizards had to survive many anxious moments during their 2-2 draw against Punjab Warriors on Tuesday and would be indebted to their Australian custodian George Bazeley to help them stay in the hunt before skipper V R Raghunath salvaged two points with his drag flicks.

The Indian international has recovered well from a slow start and has already scored four goals of the team’s seven goals in the tournament and the Rhinos would do well to come up with a strategy to avoid conceding penalty corners.

The forward line of Teun de Nooijer, Tushar Khandker, S K Uthappa and Jeroen Hertzberger has also started to gel well and it would be interesting to see if they can convert the ball possession into goals, something that they haven’t managed with certainty in the first four games.

undefined While the Wizards must be worried about the lack of goals from their forward line, the Rhinos need to quickly find a solution to their penalty corner conversion woes and the lack of goals from their foreign recruits.

Captain Moritz Fuerste and Dutchman Floris Evers have been impressive with their passing but had it not been for some effective poaching from youngster Mandeep Singh, the team has been struggling to push enough bodies forward to pounce on the hopeful crosses inside the striking circle.

Hopefully the picture will change on Thursday.

undefined Ranchi Rhinos Co-Coach, Baljit Singh Saini said, “Uttar Pradesh Wizards is a challenging team to play against, and we need to be cautious about giving them opportunities for penalty corners since their conversion rate is very high. Having said that, the youngsters in our team having been performing really well and I am sure we will give the away team a hard time on the field”.

VR Raghunath captain, Uttar Pradesh Wizards said, “Ranchi Rhinos are playing two back-to-back games and we will try to take advantage of this. With 14 points on board, we stand second on the points table. We have a great momentum going for us right now. The entire team is performing well and we are looking forward to keep this momentum going and convert it into positive results in tomorrow’s game against Ranchi Rhinos”.

24th January: Ranchi Rhinos vs Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium at 6 p.m.

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