A whole host of inclusions right across the grades for the Students as they look to take down the Demons in Round 8 this Saturday.
Playing away at The “Hey Bert, Hey Ernie” Albert Ground with a number of COVID-based returnees, the First XI ought to take heed of fellow Sesame Street Muppet, Elmo, who advises:
“When you feel like your nose needs to give an ahh-choo, this is how you act, this is what you do: Lift your arm on high, bend it towards your face, and sneeze right there in the bendy place!”
In any case, the First XI welcome back McKenna, Prakash, Young and Mario’s favourite duo; Waluigi and Wario (That’s Simon Mackin and Noah Croes for those playing at home). Though they both struggled around Rainbow Road in isolation, they could well thrive on Queen’s Road on Saturday – especially if they can get their hands on a Bullet Bill.
Moreover, Harrison Emms managed to get to training on Thursday night and even enjoyed his first Mexi parmigiana for the season. It is comforting to note that Ben and Jerry’s ease into their work in January, despite the fact that the warm weather means demand for ice cream is at its highest point for the year.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Daniel Hutton
Come Saturday, the coach will be triple jabbed; a fine accompaniment to his strong early season form. To that end, he has enjoyed a relaxing week down by the beach; entering the contest with a bronzed look that some of us can only achieve out of a bottle. A mid-week mini golf victory in the bank, too, suggests Hutton is primed for a big day on Saturday.
Having described his own form at the coin toss as “irresistible,” Hugo Bienvenu will take the captain’s armband for the second week in a row as he leads a youthful Second XI side at the Main.
In fact, Hugo is the only player who remains from last week’s Second XI clash as ten other changes were made at the selection table. Surely some kind of record. Not to worry, all inclusions are good names – and I mean that literally, just check out the form guide below:
There’s a Barn(es) for the Peacock to stay in, so he’ll feel right at home, unless he chooses to go for a Walk(er) down a rabbit Warren. To break the Mold(en) like that would be an interesting choice, but you certainly wouldn’t Bet(t) against it. In fact, punt correctly and you could end up a Ritch(ie) man. All that said, keep your eye on this contest until the final Horn is blown.
Durrant, Hahnel and double-barrel Barron are also all into the side.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Harrison Barnes
The pencil has been keeping the scorers’ pens very active since his arrival to Melbourne Uni. Yet to be dismissed as a MUCCer, he designs award-winning homes for Metricon Mon-Fri, and then match-winning innings as a Student on the weekend. A good trait. Expect it to continue.
Travelling to the stunning Beaumaris sporting precinct, the Third XI welcome back skipper Tom Savill and a number of exciting young inclusions as they look to entrench themselves in the top eight.
It will be the battle of the colleges with the new ball on the weekend, as JB (Queen’s) and Lucien Bienvenu (Trinity) look to break this one apart for the Students. To that end, Harry Sheahan and Om Patel will provide tantalising left-arm swing options as well.
After their match-winning efforts last week, dynamic duo of Yuvraj Singh and Jimmy Anderson will look to help haul the Third XI over the line in the shadow of beach Road.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Michael Forwood
Speaking of Beach Road, Michael Forwood, who could pull off the low-key surfer vibes as he continues to grow his hair out, might have a big say on the outcome of this one. In good touch with the bat – and with a Christmas Gray Nicolls in his possession – Bricks is primed to light it up on the weekend.
Perhaps for the first time in the game’s history, the chairman of selectors has been victim of the reverse double bump. Selected in the Second XI last week, a COVID scare saw Keels miss the match at Frankston, and this week he will lead the Fourth XI.
A young side with enviable batting depth, the Students will surely have A1 conditions after hordes of MUCCers interrupted Thursday night touch football at Princes Park to ensure the covers were put down correctly.
Toby Rawlings – who returned to the UK for Christmas – is back into the side, always happy for a chat, just don’t mention the Ashes (I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it).
Keen for a victory against first-placed Melbourne, the Fourth XI will be looking to kick start the second-half of their season as they make a charge towards the top eight.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Khush Talati
Having been passed the baton by Elliott Durrant, Khush is now the resident MUCCer at Shaun Brown’s Cricket Coaching. Moreover, he presents a steady seam-up challenge for the batter twenty-two yards away. If there’s a bit in the wicket, expect Khush to find it.