Déjà vu in Men’s competition as Tigers meet Bushrangers…again

Another year, another Bushrangers vs Tigers Grand Final. The third edition on Bathurst soil since 2013. Can the Tigers go back-to-back or will the Rebels win their first title?


2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019. These are the seasons where a Bushrangers side has played a Grand Final alongside the Orange Tigers. Put simply, if Orange make the post-season, they play on the last Saturday of the season against the Bushrangers. Since the one-tier competition, 2017 was the year of the Outlaw whilst Tiger-Land rejoiced in 2018. Both teams have members of the 2013 Grand Final in today’s side so Grand Final experience is no concern.


Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels

2018 Finish:
2019 H&A season:
Minor premiers (P12, W9, D1, L2)
Players to watch:
Andrew James has returned successfully from injury and is a smooth mover through the midfield, expect James, and Bill Wattersonto benefit from Harry Bowden’s– arguably the #1 ruckman in the AFL CW competition – ruckwork. If the midfield play their part, Timothy Hunter and Matthew Archer will be on call to complete the work inside 50. The two coaches have kicked 61 goals between them this season. Like the Giants’ Women, the Rebels have their own youthful duo in Charles Flude and Scott Brown. The two GWS Development Squad graduates are elite young talent and their athleticism allows the midfield to have a well-earned break when necessary.


Orange Tigers

2018 Finish:
2019 H&A season:
2nd (P12, W8, D1, L2, NR1)
Players to watch:
Andrew Nelson is an experienced campaigner having played in all of the five previous Grand Finals, he will control the forward-50 and is dangerous when able to find a mis-match. Mick Evans leads the charge through the midfield, following his match-winner against the Giants, does he have another in him? Charles Kemp has pushed a case to be considered his side’s best player through their two finals. Add in a five-goal haul in the Under-17s Grand Final and its a long-time since his last bad game. Peter Byrne and Max Bylsma have also had excellent finals campaigns in both the junior and senior grades whilst if Callan Naden gets any space, his speed and genuine X-factor could be a difference.


Final thoughts:

Three of the past five Grand Final meetings have resulted in 3-point victories to the Tigers. The Rebels dismantled the #1 defence in the competition with fast ball-movement and overwhelming repeat entries inside-50. The stats show that 10-goals is the magic number when playing against Orange who haven’t lost when conceding less than 10-goals yet lost both occasions in 2019 when conceding greater than 10-goals. The Bushrangers Rebels have justified their favouritism for this match however Orange can strangle an offence and play the game on their own terms. With the forecast expected to bring cold wind and some light rain, this plays even further into the Tigers defensive style of football meaning early goals – as is the case in most finals – will be crucial.


Selected teams

The Senior Men’s match between Bathurst Bushrangers and Orange Tigers begins at 2:30pm at George Park #2, Bathurst. Entry to the field is $5 for adults.

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