Bombers eye perfect 10 to finish their season with the title
HERVEY Bay' successful run to the AFL Wide Bay finals can be traced to early June.
They had lost their four consecutive games and boasted a 3-5 win-loss record, though coach Darren Hunter pulled the trigger on an intense, six-week training program that would make or break his side.
The answer unfolded over the following eight weeks, as the Bombers tore their way through the competition to finish the regular season with an 11-5 record, but more importantly, enter the finals in red-hot form.
"I seriously thought I was going to have to pull the pin on (the program) after three weeks,” Hunter said.
Instead, they not only improved their match fitness to its peak, but it also acted as a bonding exercise.
"They all stuck together and when the results started coming it went from there,” Hunter said.
The Bombers are the complete opposite to cross-town rivals Bay Power.
Where the Power has struggled for the better part of a decade, the Bombers have won several premierships and been an AFL Wide Bay finals fixture.
Their dominance has slipped in recent years as The Waves stepped up, but Hunter's troops believe this could be the start of another red-and-black dynasty.
The Bombers hold a slight mental advantage over the Power given they have won three of their four meetings this year, but Hunter is not taking anything for granted.
"It's a big occasion for them but it's going to be big for us as well,” he said.
"You've got to be confident or you wouldn't be anywhere near the finals. We're only a game away so we're looking forward to it.”