Beware the wounded animal.
West Warrnambool coach Tyler Fowler will keep this in mind on Saturday when his side takes on the Northern Raiders for the first time this season in a Warrnambool and District Cricket Association match with huge finals ramifications.
A win to either side would guarantee finals but a loss means it could miss out.
The Raiders will be without the competition's leading run-scorer - English import Jack Burnham who suffered a serious leg injury on Friday - but Fowler said the news wouldn't impact his team's tactics or preparation.
"(It's) obviously a massive loss for them with Jack getting injured but I've got no doubt you can't go in thinking 'oh they've lost a quality player, they're going to be no good' because someone else can quite easily get a hold of you if you do that," he said.
"I think they'll still be really competitive and if anything they might come out going a bit harder having lost a star player.
"I don't think it changes a lot for us, we'll still go in with the same mindset."
One of the Raiders' batters who could step up in Burnham's absence is Jake McKinnon.
The former Victorian premier cricketer has struck 345 runs this season, with a top-score of 100 not out against Wesley Yambuk in round one.
Fowler is "really looking forward" to the contest and has confidence in his side.
"I know I personally really enjoy those games where there's a bit on the line," he said.
"I think the boys are all looking forward to it.
"I think you go into every game backing your side and feeling confident you can get the job done."
The Panthers mentor said his side must execute with ball in hand to give the batters the best chance of surpassing a total.
"That's probably something that we've had to work on or haven't been strong with this year and when we've executed we've bowled to our plans and bowled to our fields really well and played some of our better cricket," he said.
"We've got a really solid batting line-up, if we can execute with the ball really well and give our guys with the bat an easy to target to chase or restrict we'll back our batting ability."
Panthers batter Alistair Templeton will look to lead the way at the top of the order. The experienced right-hander is second on the competition's run-scoring tally with 457 runs - 63 shy of Burnham. Should his team make finals, Fowler believes it can do some damage.
"I think it's a bit cliche but once you get there it's anyone's game really," he said.
With one game to play the Panthers are fifth, one win behind second, while the Raiders are seventh on the same amount of points (39) but are lower due to an inferior net run rate.
Dennington (fourth) and Mortlake (sixth) also have 39 points, meaning the Raiders and Panthers would be reliant on other results favouring them if they lost and wanted to finish in the top-six and play finals.
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