The long and the short of Tigers' success
ONE is a towering six-foot-seven ruckman, the other is a midfield wrecking ball built closer to the ground, but both Matt Taggart and Blossom Grimshaw have played big roles in the Tweed Coast Tigers' AFL Northern Rivers success so far this season.
The Tigers's run towards the finals starts on Saturday against Lismore at Seabreeze Sportsfields at Pottsville, with seniors looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Ballina and the women's team chasing a club record fourth consecutive win.
The Tigers seniors are still in the hunt for a top two finish, while the women's team and reserves have also scored impressive wins this year.
Taggart and Grimshaw enjoy watching each other play. and will be central to the Tigers' hopes in the run to the finals.
"I just love seeing how hard Blossom goes at the ball - she's just a machine, it's so good to watch,” Taggart said.
"Matt is definitely one of the biggest humans I've ever seen, especially when I'm standing next to him,” Grimshaw said.
"Being a bit smaller does have its benefits in the women's comp, the ball's on the ground a lot and it helps you be the first to it.”
Taggart has made a huge impact at the Tigers since moving back to Australia after a long stint in the US where he played AFL for the Dallas Magpies.
"The standard of footy in the USAFL is surprising for a league that's only 10 years-old, it's an emerging comp,” Taggart said.
Grimshaw was among the Tigers' best last season in her first year playing Australian Rules. She's a noted leader in the midfield and off the field with the Tigers social scene.
"I really enjoy cracking in for some reason,” Grimshaw said. I played netball, soccer and touch growing up but AFL lets you get stuck in.
"I've made so many new friends here, even family I guess. It's a place to have fun with your mates, blokes and girls. I've never experienced anything like it.”
"Even if you turn up to training or a game feeling down, it always gets the endorphins going, and you leave with a smile on your face.”
After a run of six consecutive wins leading up to the Splendour break, the Tigers seniors stumbled with consecutive losses to Byron and Ballina.
Now, a month out from the finals, and with a host of players returning from injury across the grades, Club President Ben Kelly said there's unprecedented competition for places.
"The time has come to up the ante, we've had more than 50 players at training at times which says great things for the strength of this club,” Kelly said.
"As well as the run to the finals, our last regular season home game on August 25th is a big day for the club with our past players and sponsor's appreciation day. I encourage all the Tigers family to come down and get involved.
"It's really important to acknowledge the support of the Pottsville Beach Sports Club and other sponsors who help get our local teams on the field each season.”
Tigers vs Swans
WHEN: Saturday, July 11
WHERE: Seabreeze Oval, Pottsville
GAMES: Reserves v Lismore 11am
Women's v Lismore 12:30pm
Seniors v Lismore 2:20pm