PRIOR to Saturday’s Central West AFL match, Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels co-coach Matt Griffin had spoken to his players about building momentum.
It is clear they listened as the Rebels posted a 28-22-190 to 6-2-38 victory over defending premiers Cowra at Mulyan Oval.
The result took Rebels to three wins from as many games this season, adding to prior successes against Orange Tigers and club-mates the Bushrangers Outlaws.
“I am very happy with our performance, we are playing well at the moment. Before the game we spoke about taking our confidence from last week into it and building on it, we are very keen to get a roll on,” Griffin said.
While the Blues provided stiff competition for the Rebels in 2016 – winning all three clashes between the pair – this season Cowra is rebuilding after losing a bulk of its premiership winning line-up.
It meant Griffin’s Rebels were favourites for Saturday’s match. The Bathurst side lived up to that expectation, but Cowra’s performance was not without merit.
“It was good to get a win against them, especially obviously since the Outlaws lost to them in the grand final last year,” Griffin said.
“There were some familiar faces, but there were a lot of new faces as well and to Cowra’s credit, they never gave up.
“The score was not reflective of their effort, Cowra were very competitive in patches against us.”
Rebels started in impressive fashion, booting six goals five in the opening term while restricting the hosts to just a single behind.
By half-time the margin stood at 81 points with Rebels leading 13-10-88 to 1-1-7, and from there the Bushrangers outfit went on with the job.
Fifteen more majors came in the second half, with Grady Tapping kicking six of them. In total 11 Rebels players finished with a goal, which was something Griffin was pleased to see.
“We’ve been trying to get our forward line a bit more open, we’d been getting a fair bit of ball but struggling to convert,” Griffin said.
“But this Saturday our delivery was a lot better which allowed us to convert and we were more patient as well, setting things up and not rushing.
“To have a wide variety of goal scorers is part of our game plan, we don’t want to be a one dimension team, we want to have a lot of options up front.”
Griffin nominated Tom Regan and Peter Grundy – who kicked three goals apiece – as two of the best performers for the Rebels, while new Bushranger Jacob Wells impressed as well.
“We have got a fair few guys in our side this year that are considered development players, but they’ve been performing very well,” Griffin said.
“Jeremy Nash was good for us last week and Jacob Wells was good on Saturday, we are very proud to see those guys doing well.”
Rebels’ next assignment will be against the winless Young Saints.