Hillgrove captain Matt Schaefer admitted his team were “outplayed” by Guyra in their first match of the season but hopes they will be be back at their best when they face the premiers.
“We took our foot off the throat a bit and Jacko [Matt Jackson] and Mitch Woods got away from us in the back end of the first innings and they got a decent total on the board,” Schaefer said.
“I think our guys went out there thinking we would get the runs pretty easily and no one valued their wickets.
“That's what happens, we got rolled and we were 80 short. The next week we couldn't bowl them out.”
Their coming opponents in Easts scored an unlikely win when they turned a 60-run first innings deficit into an outright victory against City in their last start.
Schaefer said the comeback proved the talent among the Easts lineup and his team need to be on their game this Saturday.
“I think they are the benchmark still,” he said.
“They rolled the side who everyone is talking about being the benchmark for 30 on the weekend, only using two bowlers, so I think that is a fair indication of where the strength lies in the comp.
“Even though they might have lost a few, they had a really good second grade side last year and have been able to draw on those guys to come forward in first grade.”
Hillgrove will be missing batsmen Matt Baillie and Will Waterson this Saturday but Easts are without Sam Uphill, who took 11 wickets from the two innings against City.
Easts, however, do welcome back paceman Jackson Gwynne after Central North duties.
“I feel like we have just started to get our batting lineup right,” Schaefer said.
“Everyone knows their job and knows what to do, we have just got to put it together which we weren't able to do last week.
“But that was our first game as well so there is plenty of room for improvement there.”
Schaefer’s Easts counterpart, Todd Francis, isn’t reading into Hillgrove’s loss to Guyra.
“That was their first game for the year coming off a first-round bye so it does take you a little while to get into the swing of things,” he said.
“We were lucky to get away with our first game against Guyra.
“It is going to be a pretty even competition across the board but as always Easts and Hillgrove is always a pretty heated affair.
“They have a really strong batting lineup, they bat down to nine really so it will be a good test for our bowlers again to see what we can come up with.
“It will be a good test of our character again this week.”