SIBLING rivalry is nothing new for Matt and Jarrod Petherick.
But this time around, the stakes are higher.
Matt, who captains reigning premier Russells Creek, and Jarrod, one of Merrivale's key strike bowlers, will lead their teams into a Warrnambool and District Cricket Association blockbuster on Saturday.
Merrivale is the district's surprise packet, undefeated after seven rounds and on top of the ladder, while Creek is finding its groove in second place. "They've had the upper hand on us for a while, but I think this is a good opportunity to show we've matured as a team," Jarrod told The Standard.
"We want to show we're up to it as Creek has been the best team for the past four or five years.
"It's probably a good test to show where we're really at."
I take it pretty personally if I lose to him, whether that's in the backyard or on the cricket field.- Matt Petherick
Matt said the chance to lock horns with Jarrod "added incentive".
"I take it pretty personally if I lose to him," he laughed.
"That's whether it's in the back yard or on the cricket field. There's always something there.
"We want to stay one of the better teams in the comp and winning games is probably the best way of doing that."
So what is Jarrod most wary of? He revealed Creek's bowling - long regarded as the strongest attack in the association - was a concern but flagged its strength in other areas.
"It's always been their bowlers, but especially in the one-day format, they've got some batters who can get away from you," Jarrod said.
"It's probably to our strength a bit that their bowlers can't bowl 25 overs on the trot (like they can in a two-day game), guys like Matt and Jimmy (Elford).
"Getting a few wickets at the top - Cam (Williams) Sash (Silva) - that'll be important and help us chop into the middle order."
Matt, on the other hand, said Merrivale's youth and exuberance was a strength.
"You can see that in the field. They're quite energetic and the interest is really high in their team and I think that lifts them to another level," he said.
"The skills they've got, they lift that again and with years to come, if you bring that energy and the talent keeps improving, they're going to be pretty dangerous."
Jarrod said it was "still a little bit weird" to come up against Matt but conceded "it is what it is".
"It's a little bit different when you go out there and see your brother on the other team, but you get used to it," he said. Matt said he enjoyed the opportunity to get his brother out. "Hopefully we'll play on the same team again one day but I can't see that in the foreseeable future."
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