Tigers careful of complacency ahead of clash with rampaging Demons

BOOMING LEFT BOOT: Tigers defender Chris Rothnie gets a clearing kick away last week against Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws at Waratahs Sportsground. Tigers host Dubbo on Saturday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH.

BOOMING LEFT BOOT: Tigers defender Chris Rothnie gets a clearing kick away last week against Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws at Waratahs Sportsground. Tigers host Dubbo on Saturday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH.

Complacency has brought countless skilled teams undone over the years, and the Orange Tigers know they have to improve in order to stay ahead of the competition. 

This weekend’s game against a surging Dubbo Demons is a danger game for the side, with the rampaging Demons desperate to claw their way into finals.

Dubbo will be buzzing after a physical, hard win over Bathurst Giants last week, and matched it with Orange for a half last time the sides met despite only having 18 men. 

However, Tigers are well and truly aware the second they drop their guard other sides in the Central West AFL will pounce, with defender Chris Rothnie cautious of Dubbo. 

“They’re looking a lot stronger than they have in the past couple of years, they’re starting to form well as a team, they’ve got a couple of handy players who can definitely penetrate and kick goals,” he said. 

“It will be a bit more physical than last week.” 

The Tigers started slowly last week before clicking into gear, and Rothnie said the side needed to make sure it lifted its intensity to put sides away early, as opposed to turning on later in the game. 

“Just our IQ around the ball and our composure, we’re going into some games thinking we’ve won before we’ve even started and that’s always killed us,” he said. 

“It’s pretty easy, four quarter effort is what we need.”

Rothnie returned to the side last week after a short lay-off with a broken hand, and while the hand hasn’t completely healed, he said he’s raring to go. 

“It’s good, still broken but after a couple of weeks off I’m doing boxing at the gym and getting it strapped pretty well,” he said.

His hand didn’t cause him too much pain last week, but he was still unsure about how it would hold up, especially in the conditions, but this week he said he’ll be going at it 100 per cent.  

“I was a bit scared because of the weather, it was the same weather that I broke it in and I was a bit timid going for the ball in the air but when push comes to shove I’ll just go for it,” Rothnie said. 

Rothnie has spent most of the season at centre half back, which is a position he admits he doesn’t love, but has excelled in. 

“I am a backman, I don’t like playing down back but it’s where I play my best footy, but if it helps get the side the win I’ll stay there. I try and sneak into the midfield where I can,” he laughed. 

Orange Tigers men host Dubbo Demons from 2.30pm at Waratahs Sportsground, while Parkes host Bathurst Giants and the two Bathurst Bushrangers sides play each other in the derby. 

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