THE Tathra Sea Eagles are advancing in the Sapphire Coast AFL finals series.
The Sea Eagles move to the next round against Bermagui following a convincing win over the Bega Bombers on Sunday.
The Sea Eagles defeated the Bombers 24.17 (161) to 10.10 (70).
Tathra playing coach Luke Taylor said he was happy with his squad’s performance.
“I thought the way we attacked the game from the start to finish was one of the best we’ve had all year,” Taylor said.
The Bombers were short a few key players and Taylor said he would rather play the full team, but was happy with the outcome.
“I spoke to Bega after the game, they were under-manned, but ultimately we can only play who is on the park.
“At the end of the day we would have liked to play Bega at full strength.
“But we had some young guys and some really experienced guys, it mixed well for us yesterday,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bega senior coach Matt Fleet gave credit to the Tathra squad on its strong showing.
“We wanted to get positives out of the day, we certainly had the belief we could win, but Tathra is a really good unit and they put that to bed pretty quick,” Fleet said.
Out of the running for the year, Fleet said he was really proud of the club, and his team.
“I’m really proud of them, a 15-goal margin didn’t justify the effort the boys showed.
“It has been a fantastic year and the support for us has been unreal.
“They come along and they also travel with us, it’s just terffic,” he said.
Fleet also thanked Joanne Gehrig for her support on the bench managing injuries and keeping players fresh.
The Bombers have prided themselves on looking after players and hoped to see solid numbers for next year.
“Hopefully everyone will come back next year, and we’d like plenty more.
“The positives outweigh the negatives and we’ll keep pressing on,” he said.
The Sea Eagles will now face the Bermagui Breakers in a second elimination final.
Taylor is confident of his squad’s ability.
“We are one apiece with Bermagui, if we apply ourselves like we did yesterday we’re a bloody good chance,” Taylor said.
The squad will play the same game plans, after a number of young players stood up to the challenge on Sunday.
“Guys like Cam Burns, Bayden Pilbeam and Kiah Beruldsen, it was a good even spread across the board,” Taylor said.
Strong midfield performances and classy efforts in the air could be the defining factor in Tathra picking up a win over Bermagui this Sunday.
“We pride ourselves on our delivery forward,” Taylor said.
“We’re really strong forward so if we can deliver the ball to them, we back them to make those marks.
“We will go in the same way, if we can get our hands on the ball I have full confidence in the midfield to get it forward and give the guys a chance to get a full grab of it,” he said.
The turnaround since the season start has been a dramatic transition for the Sea Eagles.
“I am just really proud of how the club has gone forward since round two, we’ve come of age and pushed on really well,” Taylor said.
“Hopefully we’ve still got a few weeks left in the tank so we can have a crack at another flag.”