Outlaws play it safe with selections for Regional Bash finals

GOING AGAIN: Ben Strachan is one of four quicks named in the Orana Outlaws' 13-man squad for this weekend's Plan B Regional Bash finals. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE
GOING AGAIN: Ben Strachan is one of four quicks named in the Orana Outlaws' 13-man squad for this weekend's Plan B Regional Bash finals. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

It’s not perfect but it’s still been good enough to get the job done.

That’s how Orana Outlaws coach Jason Ryan feels about his side’s build-up to this weekend’s Plan B Regional Bash finals day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The defending head into Sunday’s semi-final on the hallowed turf of the SCG having not yet played a match this season while they will also be without four key figures.

Rain ruined any chance of play in last month’s Thunder Conference carnival – the Outlaws advanced to the finals after winning last season’s title – while injury has robbed Ryan of the services of Jordan Moran, Jacob McNaught and Mat Skinner.

On top of that, former Sydney first grade quick Ben Patterson has made himself unavailable while some doubt still remains about the availability of Ben Strachan.

“Patto didn’t want to go to Sydney which is a bit disappointing after he was part of the team for the past two years,” Ryan said.

“McNaught is still not quite fit yet too so there’s a few out that would have been in but there’s not much we can do about that.”

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The Outlaws will take on the Wagga Wagga Sloggers at 2pm on Sunday afternoon and if successful there they will take on either the Northern Rivers Rock or Newcastle Blasters in the decider.

The finals makeup is a replay of last years series.

“Everyone is happy with the side and there’s a few different ways we could have gone but we’ve stuck with the 12 who would have gone to Orange,” Ryan said.

The coach added Wes Giddings, who opened the batting and was key with his spin bowling in the run to last season’s title, was the most unfortunate to miss out.

THE BEST: The Orana Outlaws will head to the SCG this weekend as the Regional Bash defending champions. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

THE BEST: The Orana Outlaws will head to the SCG this weekend as the Regional Bash defending champions. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

But with no Patterson and Skinner and uncertainty around Strachan, the selectors opted to go with youngster Tom Atlee in order to boost the fast bowling stocks.

“Atlee is probably the safe option,” Ryan added.

“We bat deep and have got faith in the batting lineup and we’ve got good spin options there. This gives us four quicks and that gives us that bit of cover.”

Atlee joins Jordan Peacock, Henry Railz, Will Lindsay and Englishman Darrel Williams as the players who haven’t been to the SCG finals in the past two seasons.

Parkes pair Anthony Heraghty and Jacob Harvey are the only non-Dubbo players in the 13-man squad.

Ryan added the lack of matches will also make it tough but with so many experienced campaigners in his side he doesn’t think it will take long for the new-look Outlaws to gel.

“We’ve been lucky because we’ve the win over the Wranglers first (last two seasons) and that’s got the ball rolling for us,” he said.

“This time we’re just going to have to go out and be switched on from ball one.”

ORANA OUTLAWS: Greg Buckley ©, Brock Larance, Anthony Heraghty, Jordan Peacock, Mitch Bower, Jacob Harvey, Henry Railz, Jason Ryan, William Lindsay, Darrel Williams, Tom Atlee, Ben Strachan, Marty Jeffrey.