Tigers maul youthful Cowra to start premiership defence in fine style

THE Orange Tigers didn’t just beat Cowra in their Central West AFL season opening on Saturday, they thumped them.

The defending premiers scored a comprehensive 154-point victory in Cowra, downing the Blues 29.13 (187) to 5.3 (33).

No wonder Tigers coach Nathan Pearce was happy.

“That was a nice little win. It was a really good first round,” Pearce said.

The Tigers dominated from the outset to lead 8.1 (49) to 2.1 (13) at the first break.

The visitors extended the lead to 53 points at halftime and to 75 points after three quarters.

The Tigers finished strong, kicking 13 goals in the final period, while at the same time holding the Blues scoreless.

“Our first and last quarters were probably our best. That’s a real positive,” Pearce said.

“To kick 11 or 12 goals in the last quarter shows our pre-season fitness has really paid off.

“I was also impressed with the structures that we kept. We had times where we got out of that but the senior guys were able to give us some direction and get us back into it.

“It’s always good to win by 154 points.”

The Tigers coach said he was impressed with his players across the park and even on the bench.

“Paul Jenkins, Murray Robotham and Dale Hunter were good in the forward line,” he said.

“They haven’t really played together before, so they’ll take a couple of games to really gel. I think they kicked about 12 goals between them, so they’re going to be dangerous in three or four weeks.”

Hunter booted six goals for the Tigers, while Jenkins and Robotham nailed three each.

Michael Rothnie kicked five goals and Chris Rothnie added four to his team’s tally.

“Cowra had patches where they got good clearances out,” Pearce said.

“They’re a young side and, like Bathurst, probably going through a rebuilding year. They’ll be stronger the next time we play them.”

In the other round one Central West AFL match Dubbo thrashed Young 32.14 (206) to 6.3 (39).

Bathurst Bushrangers had the bye.

ORANGE 29.13 (187) def COWRA 5.3 (33)

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