EARLY frustrations could have got the better of the Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels in their home match against Dubbo Demons but after composing themselves, and having the wind at their back in the second quarter, they took control.
Rebels blew out to a 14-21-105 to 5-5-35 win at George Park 2.
When the Rebels got their chance to run towards the Brilliant Street end of the ground they sunk seven goals and took the Demons out of the contest.
The win sends Rebels back up to second spot on the ladder, ahead of the Bathurst Giants on percentage.
Rebels captain Matt Archer, who led the way with four goals, set the frustration in the team was evident at the end of the opening quarter.
“There was probably a scoring end and we were running against that in the first quarter. It was sloppy up one end and the breeze was going the other way so we found it hard to adapt to those conditions,” he said.
“We weren’t making the most of our opportunities in front of goal. It took us a while to get going but we battled well enough at the contested football, kept our structure up but just struggled to execute.
“We were making the right options, and looking for the short kicks, but panic was setting in a bit. We started to kick long to their loose defender and kept making bad decisions.”
Rebels led 2-5-17 to 1-0-6 at the first break, enjoying better field position but regretting several chances to push the score out further.
There were no such issues when the Bushrangers started running north-east.
The team not only progressed much more smoothly down the field with the wind behind them, but they started to find holes in the Demons’ structure to exploit.
“We composed ourselves and played some attacking football. We probably weren’t where we wanted to be but we were a lot better than what we were before,” Archer said.
“They definitely didn’t make it easy for us. With the loose defender back they had the extra man there. They were able to cut a lot of easy ball off.
“They were strong at the contested football and put up a good fight.
“Nick Irwin is a new player, an old junior, and he probably had his best game ever. He was very strong on the wing.
“Our back line really set us up again with Dan Lacey at half back and Matt Luther back deep.”
Rebels can give themselves a share of first with a win in their catch-up contest against Orange.