THE Orange Tigers scored an important Central West AFL win over arch rivals the Bathurst Bushrangers on Saturday.
The Tigers won 13.15 (93) to 8.9 (57) in Bathurst which pushed the Orange team to the top of the competition ladder.
Tigers coach Nathan Pearce was happy to see his side celebrate a win in Bathurst.
“It was a really good physical contest,” Pearce said.
“The guys jumped out of the box pretty good. The mood before the game was pretty positive.
“We probably had the best side we’ve had this year. It brings some belief in our team that when we’re at our best, we can beat anyone.”
The Tigers were up 4.2 (26) to 2.3 (15) at the first break and extended their lead to 8.6 (54) to 4.4 (28) at half-time.
Pearce described his team’s second quarter at “unbelievable”.
The coach added the Tigers had a five-minute lapse at the end of the third quarter which allowed the Bushrangers to kick two goals and this closed the margin to 10.9 (69) to 7.5 (47).
The Tigers were able to boot a further three majors in the final period while restrict Bathurst to a single and secure the 36-point win.
“We played some really good four-quarter football,” Pearce said.
“Our fullback Brent Harris pulled out this morning with other commitments.
“Damien Englart came in and he and Steve Buesnel played well in the ruck.
“Justin Fong, Michael Rothnie, Tim Barry and Nick Goudie, in his first game back, all played well.
“It was a really complete team effort.”
Dale Hunter kicked three majors for the Tigers while Paul Jenkins and Jaydan Phillips booted two each.
The Tigers now move to the top of the competition ladder on 28 points, only ahead of Bathurst on percentages.
Pearce said he’s not worried about the ladder.
“It’s good to have a win against Bathurst, but at the end of the day it’s only round seven,” he said.