ALBURY-Wodonga Spitfires co-coach Tony Donnolley believes his team must shut down Old Canberrans defender Seyi Onitiri to win Saturday's crunch match in Canberra.
Onitiri has been a strong performer for the side for years with Donnolley saying he would be watched closely.
The Spitfires are five points behind their opponents and must win to stay in the finals race.
"We have an easier run home than them, but we have got to win this one to be a chance," Donnolley said.
They are a smart side with one of their defenders (Onitiri) being really important to themTony Donnolley
"We just need to be hard at it.
"They are a smart side with one of their defenders (Onitiri) being really important to them.
"They rely on him a lot.
"He's someone we will be looking to shut down."
The Spitfires have beaten Old Canberrans 2-1 and 4-0 this season but will be without Jeremy Payne and Sam Quick due to the national country championships at Shepparton.
Charley Wallace is overseas.
The match starts at 3.15pm with snow forecast for the region.
In the women, the Spitfires take on Old Canberrans at the Albury Hockey Centre from 1.45pm.