The Northern Jets have rocketed into top three contention after a fourth straight win on Saturday, knocking over North Wagga for the second time this year, 15.10 (100) to 11.12 (78).
The 22-point win was completed despite the loss of Mitch Haddrill to an ankle injury in the third quarter, giving the fifth-placed Jets back-to-back wins against the teams above them (The Rock-Yerong Creek and North Wagga) and a strong formline a month out from finals.
They're a win behind the Magpies and Saints but also have a game in hand on those two clubs who both have a bye in the final three rounds.
In an entertaining and free-flowing affair, the Jets were up by a goal at quarter-time, down by a goal at half-time and in front by just a point at three-quarter-time, before overpowering the Saints with five goals to one in the last.
"Considering the weather, it was a little bit of a shoot-out, it moved from end to end quite cleanly and the game was quite open," Jets coach Josh Avis said.
"We never felt like we got a break, and it felt like we were always under the pump."
The Jets hope Haddrill's ankle injury isn't serious however he is likely to miss next week against Temora.
Jack Fisher was superb for the Jets with a big game in the middle and three goals while the ageless Chris Bell (four goals) has now kicked 12 in his last three games. Mid-season signing Mal Douglas played an important role on a half-back-flank again and ruck Lachie Jones got them going in the middle.
North Wagga's hopes weren't helped by an injury to Daniel Jordan who didn't return after half-time. Nathan Dennis finished with four goals while Cayden Winter in the middle and Xavier Lyons across half-back did plenty to lift the Saints but they couldn't stop the Jets juggernaut rolling on towards triple figures.
"We lifted. We've done a backflip on where we were (in 2019) when we used to start well but then fall away," Avis said.
"We seem to be able to run over teams this year. I don't quite know what changes, I haven't quite put my finger on it but we seem to lift...
"We're at the stage where blokes know how to dig a bit deeper and the young blokes are getting a bit of belief about them, and there's a little bit of backing ourselves."
Northern Jets 4.3, 7.5, 10.8, 15.10 (100)
North Wagga 3.3, 8.4, 10.7, 11.12 (78)
Goals: (Jets) Chris Bell 4, Jack Fisher 3, Matthew Wallis 2, Charlie McCormack 2, Stephen Coate 2, Samuel Fisher 1, mitchell haddrill 1; (North Wagga) Nathan Dennis 4, Kirk Hamblin 2, Cayden Winter 2, Bailey Clark 2, Josh Campbell 1.
Best: (Jets) Jack Fisher, Malcolm Douglas, Lachlan Jones, Brad McKinnon, Samuel Fisher, Chris Bell; (North Wagga) Cayden Winter, Xavier Lyons, Sean Keith, Bailey Clark, Jackson Kerr.
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