The Dubbo Demons overcame some "dumb" play in the first half to trounce the battling Cowra Blues on Saturday.
The Demons remain in a share of third spot with the Bathurst Giants after the win, one in which they kept the Blues from kicking a solitary goal.
The Demons ran out 17.25.127 to 0.3.3 victors at South Dubbo Oval, but coach Shayne Wilesmith stated the winning margin could have been even greater.
"We had shots from right in front that missed so at half-time I said they were playing dumb footy," Wilesmith said.
"We changed things up in the second half and that made the difference."
The Demons' defence again impressed and kept Cowra to just one behind in the first half while in attack the hosts kicked four goals and a massive 12 behinds.
It was clear the changes made at half-time worked as the hosts booted 13 goals in the second stanza to secure a commanding and differential-boosting victory in what was a sometimes-fiery contest.
Wilesmith described his side as wasteful in the first half, as often the ball was bombed forwards toward goal without as much structure or teamwork.
Tom Budd was the main beneficiary of the switches in the second half as he finished with five goals while Josh Anasis overcome some wayward shooting to land three majors. Connor McDonald was also praised for his efforts as he barely stopped running at half-back.
"We could have put them out of their misery earlier," Wilesmith said of Cowra.
Cowra has just one win to its name this year and has been struggling for numbers for large chunks of the season, and Wilsesmith said his side did just what it needed to do against them on Saturday.
The victory sets up a tense run home. The Demons sit fourth, only behind the Bathurst Giants on percentages, while the Bathurst Bushrangers Outlaws are just one win back in fifth.
Dubbo plays host to the Outlaws in a potentially hugely important match, before finishing the regular season with games against competition leaders Orange and Parkes.
"We've spoken about it and we just need to keep on winning," Wilesmith said.
"Next week is a big game and the week after that is a big game too. And then while Parkes has been down on form we still know we've just got to win."
Makings the finals isn't the only motivation for the Demons, with third spot meaning hosting rights for the minor semi-finals.
"We're not guaranteed a finals spot but we're gunning for one and we want a home final, as well," Wilesmith added.
"That would be a good advantage for us to get, and it would boost our confidence to get someone here on home turf."