Novak forward combo fits like a glove: Tigers reserves ready to pounce

BLOCKBUSTER CLASH: Orange Tigers reserve grade side, including captain-coach Andrew McIntyre, faces its toughest test to date in today's major semi-final against Bathurst. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0703afl3

BLOCKBUSTER CLASH: Orange Tigers reserve grade side, including captain-coach Andrew McIntyre, faces its toughest test to date in today's major semi-final against Bathurst. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0703afl3

WHAT do AFL stars Travis Cloke, Adam Goodes and Quinten Lynch have in common with Orange Tigers front-man Chris Novak?

Aside from donning a glove they have been, or still are, a crucial cog in some of the most lethal forward lines of the modern game. 

Novak and his fellow forwards, in particular full-forward Luke Pryor and pocket plodder Matt Tedeschi, have formed an unparalleled combination with an insatiable hunger for kicking goals.

Taking on Bathurst Bushrangers in Saturday’s Central West AFL reserve grade major semi-final, the minor premiership winning Tigers will need every goal they can get and will rely on Novak and co to deliver.

“Yeah, look it’s mainly Pryor,” Novak said, humbly.

“He’s come from Victoria and is leading the goal kicking for the competition I believe. He’s a very strong mark and a great kick.

“It’s great having him up front, we just feed him. He’s lethal up there for us and will need to be again [today].”

The Tigers have clashed with the Bushrangers four times in the regular season, for two wins apiece.

Novak, a pillar of strength inside 50, said neither side heads into the clash with the upper hand and as a result, Orange needs to go up another gear.

“We’re two and two with Bathurst, so there’s plenty of motivation in it both ways,” he said.

“No side will go in favourites, but if we play to our potential I think we’re a massive chance, we work really well together as a team.”

“It’s about shutting Bathurst down. They run really well through the midfield, and contest the ball on the ground very well too.

“We need to make sure we’re hard in the contest, and try to stop them running with the ball and moving it quickly.”

First bounce in the reserve grade clash is 12.45pm, at Country Club Oval.

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