The Dubbo Demons proved they can change their game plan on the run in Saturday's AFL Central West win over Orange but captain Bevan Charlton-White knows bigger tests await.
A dominant second quarter proved key at South Dubbo Oval on Saturday when the Demons downed the Tigers 18.11.119 to 13.3.81.
It means the Demons are three-from-three to start the season and head into next weekend's meeting with the powerful Bathurst Bushrangers with plenty of belief and confidence.
"We certainly set ourselves for that one but having said that we knew we needed to play near our peak to beat Orange," Charlton-White said.
"We're still a little patchy. When we put our foot down we can play some really good footy but when we've had lapses we've been able to get away with it.
"Against an even better quality opposition we won't be able to do that."
The Demons defeated Orange in round one of the 2020 season but the Tigers arrived in Dubbo motivated and were the better team in the first quarter.
Three goals from Callan Hunt meant they led by 11 early, with their work in the ruck allowing them to clear the ball downfield time and time again.
But the hosts soon lifted and restricted the Tigers to one solitary behind in the second term while booting five goals of their own to take a 20-point lead into the main break.
"We started to win the ball in the centre and get it on our terms," Chalrton-White said.
"We didn't quite do it in the first quarter."
Being able to make those adjustments and change mid-match is one of the most pleasing aspects of the Demons' performances so far.
The increased depth and quality across the park has given coach Steve Smith plenty of options and Charlton-White said using those is making all the difference.
"In the past if it was going against us we dropped off and that led to that inconsistency but there's a bit more depth and we can throw different people around and have answers when we're challenged," he said.
Once the ball did start moving forward the captain and his fellow forward Josh Anasis used their height to great advantage and got their side on top.
Anasis, now at home near the goals, finished with seven goals while Charlton-White booted five and Joey Hedger was the other multiple goal-kicker with two.
Orange rallied in the final quarter, player-coach Tim Barry finished the match with five goals, but it wasn't enough.
"We think we've got pretty good functioning forward line with a nice balance and spread," Charlton-White said.
"There's the smaller guys who apply pressure so it's a good mix and we're not really relying on one player to kick a bag.
"I think that makes us harder to play against."
While the Demons' strength has been the team effort and performances across the park, Charlton-White did single out Anasis and Will Stafford for praise.
Mudgee-based Stafford had his best game for the club and got through plenty of work in defence and midfield while Anasis' goals were key.
"He [Anasis] played a lot of footy at key forward as a junior but at Penrith, before he came here, he played at full-back and that's where we played him," Chalrton-White said,
"But he indicated he wanted to move forward and since he made the switch he's starred and looks comfortable."
The Demons are back at home next weekend for the meeting with the Bushrangers.
The Bathurst side is also unbeaten and sits on top of the ladder after thumping local rivals Giants by 76 points on Saturday.