Orange Tigers are relishing the contest in the Central West AFL despite a “developing” start to season 2018.
The six sides in the women’s competition have been divided with a clear top three sides, with the experience and skill of the Bushrangers, Giants and Demons seeing them on top of the ladder with massive percentages.
Sitting fourth on the ladder is the Orange Tigers, who have conceded just one goal in their past fortnight of footy, with two wins on the trot against Parkes and Cowra respectively.
With a very fresh group, the Tigers have taken time to come together, with their first two weeks of the season seeing them go down in a nine-goal loss to ladder-leaders Dubbo, and then a 16 point loss to the second-placed Giants in round two.
Coach and club president Ben Cullis said the side had lost a few regular players in the off-season, with most players who came in to replace them new to either the club or the sport, meaning they’ve taken time to gel.
“We’ve been really developing for our first four games of footy, struggled with consistency and regular players with work commitments but the last two games have been really positive, so the bye probably came at a bad time for us,” Cullis said.
However, like the men’s side, the Tigers are yet to play at home, with their round three game against the Bushrangers postponed until early July after concerns over the surface, which has meant the side hasn’t been able to put a full squad on the park yet this season.
Despite that, Cullis said the Tigers were playing good football, even with the rough start playing Dubbo and Bathurst on the road, Cullis said the side weren’t as far off the pace as the results said.
“It was only one bad quarter [in each game] that let us down, if we’d played four quarters we’d have – if not won, gone very close to winning,” he said.
“When we can get four full quarters together we’ll be going forward with a lot of confidence.”
Senior player Jacqui Harris said the side was taking time to come together after a big change to the playing group in the off-season.
“Yeah we’ve been good, it’s been a bit of a slow start, we’ve had a lot of younger players and a lot of less experienced players but the last couple of weeks we’ve started to really gel together,” Harris said.
“A lot more and the girls are seeing the way the game is structured so the next few weeks will be really really interesting.”
Despite some big blow-outs, the women’s competition has come together this season, with the first representative game held last weekend alongside the men’s and juniors’ fixtures – albeit featuring a North vs South CWAFL game instead of hosting a women’s side from the Riverina.
The Tigers are still welcoming players – for those looking to get involved, get in contact via the club’s Facebook page.