Hockey India League (HIL) defending champions Ranchi Rhinos take on debutants Kalinga Lancers on their home turf here on Friday.

After a tough draw with Dabur Mumbai Magicians on Tuesday, the Rhinos are practising with a fresh approach and new strategies. They have played three out of their four matches on home ground which has helped them to understand and implement tactics well in front of their home crowd.

Currently sitting in fourth position with 13 points, the Rhinos will try to showcase their best game and go up on the points table.

“We are looking forward to play our first game against the Lancers in this tournament. Our team is trying to improve themselves compared to our last match against the Magicians. With the support of home crowd, we will win this game. After a slow start, the Lancers have improved a lot and one can’t underestimate any team,” said Rhinos head coach Gregg Clark.

On the other hand, if the Lancers win, it will boost their future prospects. With a win, they will get five points which will give them hope to vie for the fourth slot by winning forthcoming matches.

Although the Lancers are debuting in the HIL, their overall performance has been a successful spell.

“It will be a tough game against the Rhinos at their home ground. Ranchi has a few star players who have the potential to turn the game any moment so it will not be an easy task to beat the defending champions. We have shown a lot of progress in the last game against the Delhi Waveriders. My boys will play as per planned strategy and give their best to beat the Rhinos,” Lancers head coach Terry Walsh said.

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