BATHURST Bushrangers honed their game after half-time in Saturday's AFL Central West senior men's game against Orange Tigers to run away with the contest at George Park 2 and continue their winning run.
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Bushrangers made it seven wins on the trot in a 24-13-157 to 8-4-52 success at home.
After getting themselves out to a comfortable 36 point lead at the first break Bushrangers could one extend the lead by one point to 37 at half-time as the Tigers started to put things together.
Following discussions at half-time the midfield play from the Bushrangers went to a new level and the hosts ran away with the contest on the back of those efforts.
Nathan Smith took his season goal tally to 41 on the back of another seven majors on Saturday, while Matt Archer and Ben Horn each kicked four goals in the win.
Bushrangers co-coach Tim Hunter said his side rose to the occasion when Orange started to turn up the pressure.
"We started really, really well. That's been a focus for us because there's been a couple of games where we haven't started that great," he said.
"To Orange's credit they really challenged us there in the second quarter and we knew that we'd have to rectify things in the second half, and our boys responded really well to that challenge.
"Orange were definitely the better side in the second quarter, to the point where they really got themselves back in the game. When we asked for a response from each of our groups they delivered in the third quarter."
Bushrangers kicked an efficient seven goals and two behinds over their dominant opening quarter.
Tigers then matched the Bathurst side's four goals in the second quarter to keep things interesting.
"We weren't winning a great deal out of the centre, and the ball was coming to their forwards a little too easily, and they responded to that," Hunter said.
"I thought that Andy James had another great game in the midfield. He's putting together a pretty awesome season. He's one of our vice-captains and he's really leading from the front.
"In the back line Tommy Maher just continues to get the job done every week. He's been pretty phenomenal this year."
Bushrangers will look to keep that midfield workrate going into next round's derby game with Bathurst Giants.
"We're obviously happy with how we've been going and I think it's a credit to the mindset of our group at the moment, which is that they're always looking to improve," Hunter said.
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