BATHURST Bushrangers Rebels fought back from a flat start to take down the Outlaws in Saturday’s intra-club derby at George Park 2.
Rebels were down by 15 at the first break but upped the work rate in defence and found their accuracy with the boot to outscore the Outlaws nine goals to two over the next two terms.
Matt Archer scored six goals for the Rebels in a win that keeps his team sitting second on the ladder, while the Outlaws hold onto fourth despite the loss.
Rebels co-coach Steve Grundy said a focus on applying pressure off the ball got his team on top in the derby.
“They started very, very strongly. It’s an area of our game that we could improve upon with that first quarter,” he said.
“We weren’t panicking but knew we had to step up our pressure and tackling. We did that and off the back of that we used the ball a bit better. That got us some momentum going into half time.
“Outlaws won a lot of clearances in the first quarter and they capitalised. We still had a lot of scoring shots but were a bit inaccurate.
“From the second quarter on we were spoiling a lot more contests and bringing the ball to ground.”
The match resembled the previous Bushrangers derby in that the Rebels needed a quarter’s play to find their rhythm.
This time the result was much more devastating across the middle two periods.
We weren’t panicking but knew we had to step up our pressure and tackling.Steve Grundy
Grundy said the all-Bushrangers affair always makes for a tough game of football.
“It’s a hard game. My brother’s on the other team, for example. There’s a lot of mates playing across both teams but at the end of the day we’re all Bushrangers,” he said.
“We go out and play it like it’s any other game and that’s what’s so great about it. You can have some great yarns after the game and we’re all one club again.”
Tom Regan (Outlaws) and Kaleb Crowhurst (Rebels) both kicked three goals.
Outlaws could have slipped outside of the top four if not for Bathurst Giants seeing off Dubbo Demons on Saturday.
The Outlaws and Demons remain level on the ladder but the Bathurst club hold the finals position on percentage.
“Both teams knew what the ramifications were for a win or a loss. At the end of the day both teams wanted to win,” Grundy said.
“Fourth spot’s still not out of reach for [Outlaws]. They showed in that first quarter that they can play some fantastic footy. Even as the game was ending it wasn’t like they dropped their heads, they still played the game out.”