Greater Northern Raiders will be expecting a tougher University even without Tim Paine and James Faulkner's presence for a third occasion.
The Australia Test captain resumed playing in the Sheffield Shield against Western Australia on Thursday while the international allrounder looks set to miss returning to Launceston after needing Cricket Tasmania clearance from minor injury procedure.
But Uni are still keen to unleash recruits at Windsor Park after bolstering playing stocks in the offseason.
Queenslander Sam Truloff, who played 10 first-class matches, Launceston-raised paceman Ryan Lees amid a switch from New Town and leading Glenorchy batsman Nuwan Kavinda have signed on for the students.
"We're under no illusion - every side has picked up," Raiders coach Andrew Gower said, "but Uni have done quite well in the offseason and I am sure they will be a tough ask on Saturday."
Westbury allrounder Jono Chapman gives the Raiders experience, but Gower was unsure on the eve of the match who will be omitted.
Last season, Uni narrowly edged out the Raiders twice.
The first was a six-wicket victory that still came down to the final 10 balls.
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The next was a run chase with just nine balls left, but also nine wickets down.
Gower was keen to build on a solid start to the season despite a loss to Clarence.
"Uni didn't play last week, so that gives us a slight advantage that we're one game in as they had a bye," he said.
"We'll take any advantage we can going into round 2."
The Raiders earned their historic first win this time last season against New Town.
But Gower said a year on the outlook is different.
"I'm not focused on wins and losses - I am just focused on improvement each week," he said. "If we can tick some boxes off, continue to bat our 50 overs, post up competitive scores, bowl one side of the wicket and put good efforts in, I'll be happy."
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