Jaypee Punjab Warriors eye revenge against Ranchi Rays in Hockey India League
Mohali, Feb 16 (IANS)
Currently positioned third in the Hockey India League (HIL), Jaypee Punjab Warriors will look to avenge their defeat against Ranchi Rays in Tuesday's match at the International Hockey Stadium here. In their previous tie in Ranchi, the Rays outplayed the Warriors 2-1. The Warriors, with their impressive run, are being regarded as title contenders. What has been working for the team is their coordination, leaving no gaps to counter their strategy and giving a tough time to the opponents.
Led by Australian Jamie Dwyer, the team looks complete in all departments and would like to take the form till the knockouts.
"In our last encounter with Rays, the team showcased a good performance. Tomorrow we have an advantage of playing at our home turf, gaining full support from the crowd," Warriors head coach Barry Dancer said.
"We now have a much stronger defence line and have worked on our penalty corner conversions. The boys are all primed up to face the opponents with an aim to create maximum scoring opportunities."
On the other side, coach Harendra Singh's team is raising its level in every match. With five wins, two losses and two draws and an unbeaten streak of three wins at home, the Rays pose a big challenge for the Warriors.
The Ashley Jackson-led team have world-class talents like Barry Middleton, Nick Wilson, Daniel Beale, Birendra Lakra, Mandeep Singh and Manpreet Singh, who have been showcasing outstanding performances against the top teams of the league.
"Having won so emphatically in the last encounter with the Warriors, I am now convinced with the game play that the boys are putting up. Though we have reached the last game of the league match, I am sure of my boys that they will be in better shape," Harendra said.
With both teams in the semi-finals already, they will play to try out different strategies by rotating their players.