ORANGE Tigers coach Tim Barry said a new found consistency led to his side’s 2014 Central West Under 18 minor premiership, and he can’t see any reason why it won’t lead them to the major title.
After a sporadic 2013 season player wise, Barry said the Tiger cubs locked down a consistent starting 18 in the 2014 regular season and began playing with continuity as a result.
Barry said his side needs to maintain both traits in Saturday’s major semi-final against the second-placed Bathurst Bushrangers.
Enjoying bragging rights over Bathurst for much of the season with three wins from four games, the Tiger cubs head into Saturday’s clash with unbridled confidence.
“Last season it really was a week-to-week prospect in terms of players, now we’ve got a good group who have played a fair bit of footy together,” Barry explained.
“We’ve enjoyed a few good wins over Bathurst, so there is plenty of confidence. We need to make sure we start well though, that’s crucial.”
Barry went on to say sluggish starts have cost the Tigers several times this season, including one horrid first quarter against Bathurst in which the Bushrangers kicked six goals to one earlier in the year.
“We can’t afford to start that slowly again,” Barry said.
“They got on top of us and got a roll on, we need to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
The under 18 fixture kicks off at 11am at Country Club Oval, with the reserve grade and first grade fixtures to follow - all three games are Orange versus Bathurst.
Barry said a win in the first game could potentially kick-start a massive day for the Tigers, with the ultimate goal today being all three teams securing a place in their respective grand finals in two weeks time.
“The under 18s are heavily involved with reserves, and we have blooded quite a few in first grade this season as well,” he explained.
“A win for them would give everyone a boost, we want to see them grab that first grand final spot.”