WAGGA Tigers moved into second position on the Riverina League ladder with a comprehensive 51-point thrashing of Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong on Saturday.
Tigers have hardly been mentioned among the touted title contenders but they claimed another big scalp with a big win over the Lions, 12.15 (87) to 5.6 (36) at Ganmain Sportsground.
The win leapfrogged Tigers from fifth to second on the ladder.
Tigers were woeful in front of goals early and went into half-time 20 points in front despite enjoying 15 scoring shots to five.
It mattered little as GGGM failed to take the chance and Tigers buried the Lions with eight second half goals to three.
The loss raises further questions about the Lions as they again were beaten by more than 50 points for the third time in the past four games.
Wagga Tigers captain-coach Matt Rava knows full well how important a win over the Lions is to his team’s season.
“We put a lot on this weekend to set us up for the next few weeks,” Rava said.
“We went out to Ganmain knowing it was a really important game for us, we knew they have a really quality forward line but we knew our forward line would be alright as long as we won enough out of the middle and we put a big emphasis on that.
“We ran out the game really well.”
A loss would have had Tigers outside the five and equal on points with GGGM. The win puts them safely in the top five for now.
“Obviously finals footy is where everyone wants to be and at this stage of the year, if we can be up there, it’s a lot easier to stay there than it is to get there,” Rava said.
“So we had a big emphasis on a win today and happy to come away with it.”
John Anstee was Tigers best as he held GGGM forward James Lawton goalless.
Rava was very good against his old team, while Charlie Bance, Shaun Flanigan and Brady Morton were others to impress for Tigers.
Tigers’ task does not get any easier with a trip to Kindra Park next Sunday to take on a Coolamon team looking to bounce back.
Ben Walsh and Nathan McPherson battled hard all day for the Lions.
WAGGA TIGERS (87)
2.5 4.11 9.14 12.15
1.3 2.3 3.5 5.6
Goals: (Wagga Tigers) J Buchanan 3, F Inglis 2, B Morton 2, N Ryan 2, D Morton, A Durnan, C Lovell; (GGGM) B Walsh 2, J Kotzur, M White, N McPherson.
Best: (Wagga Tigers) J Anstee, C Bance, S Flanigan, M Rava, B Morton, B Graham; (GGGM) B Walsh, N McPherson, M White, N Kember, C Steele, J Lawton.
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