Rhinos banking on home support to stall Waveriders

Ranchi, Jan 22 (IANS) Ranchi Rhinos will be banking on home support as they aim to halt the march of league leaders Delhi Waveriders in their second home game of the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium here Wednesday.

The Rhinos would need to do a lot Wednesday given the form Waveriders are in. The Delhi outfit scored at will against the Magicians in Mumbai to win 6-4 Monday and would be confident when they visit the Jharkhand capital.

The Sardar Singh-led side has dropped just three points when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their first away game.

The only concern for the visitors is their lack of penalty corner conversions.

Delhi's drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh has managed to score just one goal in about 10 attempts and Ranchi won't mind conceding penalty corners if the Waveriders manage to continuously penetrate as they did against the Magicians.

The Delhi strikers are in good form and will test Rhinos' custodian Francisco Juncosa Cortes and their defence.

The Rhinos will have to regroup quickly after their loss to the Wizards, their first in the competition.

The team looked out of sorts after their midfield formation was breached.

A.K. Bansal, Delhi Waveriders coach, said: "Post last night's win, the team has cultivated a good momentum and we would like to maintain this in tomorrow's game as well. The Ranchi Rhinos team is one of the toughest teams in this league with young players who have had vast hockey experience, so taking them lightly is not an option."

Gregg Clark, Ranchi Rhinos coach, said about Wednesday's game: "The game is obviously going to be a tough one. Delhi is a strong team and is currently topping the table. We are looking to repeat our performance from our first game here, since this is our home ground."