Charles Sturt University restored confidence in their hopes of playing finals with a 59-point win against the Northern Jets on Saturday.
The Bushpigs had been down on their luck and down on themselves after just one win in their first six games, including four straight losses leading in to the Jets game.
But at Peter Hastie Oval, they found themselves, and the fun in winning, racking up comfortably their biggest score of the season to win 19.5 (119) to 9.6 (60).
"It's pretty awesome. I think the boys really played well," CSU coach Pat Noonan said.
"I think we've been waiting to play that sort of football and I hope that's the sort of football we keep playing throughout the whole year."
The Bushpigs left little to chance with a six-goal opening quarter for a 25-point lead, and took it beyond five goals by half-time.
They pressed home their advantage in the second half with some sharp shooting. It was only 11 scoring shots to eight but the Bushpigs' 11 straight goals (to the Jets' 6.2) put the game beyond doubt.
"I think we've been lacking it the last few weeks but in the first quarter we were able to open up, run really well and run those angles. It all seemed to click," Noonan said.
The win against the league's fifth-placed team saw CSU move to sixth on the ladder, four points behind the Jets but with an improved percentage.
"You could tell after our first quarter everyone was energised and positive and it was really good to see. I think they knew within themselves that this week was a pretty big game and everyone rallied and played really well," Noonan said.
"We had lapses within quarters but we still played the majority of the game out which I was happy with."
Lou Miller, Nick Wright and Tom Stapleton - in his best game of the year - all kicked three goals. Joe Stapleton was strong across half-back and co-captain Jack Thompson-Gardener led by example and took some critical intercept marks at the back.
The Jets worked hard to get back into the game with Jack Fisher, Mitch Haddrill, Andrew Bonny and Hamish Gaynor leading their charge, and Chris Bell and Matt Wallis kicked three goals each, but the Bushpigs were a team intent on getting a result.
"I think it's a bit of reward - we have been working really hard on the track, so it's good to get a reward," Noonan said.
"Especially before exams this week for uni guys and a lot of them will be a bit stressed out for the next two weeks so it was good to get a bit of elation for those boys."
In a tight season, things could turn quickly for the Bushpigs if they can maintain momentum. While the Jets face North Wagga next week, CSU tackle the trip to Coleambally to take on a team level on points and also with designs on backing up an important win with a second straight win at the half-way mark of the season.