IT'S one of those matches in horrible weather where a coach is looking for a professional performance, tick the box and move on.
That's exactly what Wagga Tigers mentor Murray Stephenson got after his side solidified a top five spot with a strong 7.9 (51) to 1.2 (8) win over Griffith at a sodden and wind-swept Robertson Oval on Saturday.
In arguably the worst conditions for football so far this season, the last-placed Swans looked set to press the hosts after Henry Delves bagged the first goal of the game just three minutes into the contest.
But that's where the joy ended for Griffith as the Tigers' pressure, intensity and greater experience eventually told.
Griffith led 1.0 (6) to 0.4 (4) at the first break but the Tigers took advantage of the strong wind at their backs in the second quarter to post three unanswered goals.
Two superb finishes from Mason Gilfillan, who finished with two goals, and Reid Gordon into the wind in the third term effectively wrapped up the contest.
The Tigers welcomed back Jock Cornell, Charlie Bance and Will Keogh from injury, but Stephenson missed the game due to lingering concussion symptoms from their clash against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes a fortnight ago.
A win was vital for the fourth-placed Tigers (6-5), with tough assignments against top three sides Coolamon and Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong to come the next fortnight.
"It was a good win in dire conditions, it was pleasing to win convincingly," Stephenson said.
"The finishes were a by product of the good work up the field. Our mids did well to hack the ball forward and not be worried about not being pretty.
"We've got a big month of footy coming up, it will decide where we sit in the finals. To tick this one off is a good start, and particularly the way he did it as well."
Stephenson rated Gilfillan's display as his best for the club since his return after beginning the year with Wodonga Raiders.
"He was fantastic, he was lively at both ends and got plenty of the footy himself but got a hand in there when he needed to and tackled," Stephenson said.
"I thought it was a pretty complete all round game from him, he kicked a couple of goals as well."
IN OTHER NEWS
Stephenson said he hopes to be back for the Hoppers clash at Kindra Park next weekend.
"That's the plan, I've got to get through training and there's no real time frame for it when you return, as long as you get through symptom free," he said.
Tigers defender Reid Gordon was yellow carded for running a distance to join a melee in the last quarter, but wasn't placed on report.
The Swans' chances weren't helped by first half injuries to Leigh Owen (knee) and Taine Moraschi (hip), but coach Greg Dreyer was happy with their endeavour.
"They outworked us. Structurally they were better and they're very well drilled.
"I think we worked hard today and our tackling stats and things like that were good, but they outplayed us."
Wagga Tigers 0.4 3.6 5.8 7.9 (51) def Griffith 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.2 (8)
Goals: Tigers - Mason Gilfillan 2, Brady Morton, Reid Gordon, Jock Cornell, Cooper Pavitt, Brendan Myers; Griffith - Henry Delves
Best: Tigers - Mason Gilfillan, Charlie Bance, Brendan Myers, Shaun Flanigan, Sam McNaughton, Tom Osmotherly; Griffith - Riley Irvin, Tom Powell, Jack Rowston, Oliver Bartter, Jordan Whitworth, Henry Delves
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: