GRIFFITH Demons assistant manager Beau Edwards said pre-game talk of the Wagga Heat wanting to win by more than 100 spurred his side on to push their more fancied rivals at Bolton Park on Saturday night.
Despite another heavy loss to the Demons, the young side continues to show improvement after their last-second loss to Goulburn the previous round.
Edwards said the talk of Wagga wanting to annihilate the Demons did spur them on, but said the team's desire to improve is the most pleasing aspect of the past month.
"Apparently there were news reports the day before saying they wanted to beat us by 100 for their stats," Edwards said.
"I don't know whether it was a tactic by them to come out and say that so we might have gone into the game a bit scared, I don't know, but the boys responded well.
"It's only been four or five games, but it's been a real honour to see these boys improve, to coach them and see the way they have performed, even with the spotlight that's been put upon them."
Around 50 fans who followed the Demons made themselves known throughout the game, but in a pre-game blow for Griffith, centre Dean Cunial did not play due to work commitments.
However, the young Demons' front court stood up to the task of slowing down the athletic Heat side.
"For our big guys, it's about getting them to understand the physical nature of the game is very different to what they're used to at a local level," Edwards said.
"All of those little things you learn growing up, these guys have to learn it on the fly in the middle of a game, but they're doing well and it'll come with game time."
Griffith started well in opening minutes before Wagga took command of the game, opening up a healthy lead at the end of the first quarter, before restricting Griffith to just 10 points in the second term to lead 50-26 at the long break.
But from there the Demons showed they were not going to be pushovers as they went on to record their highest score since tackling the State League competition.
"They listened first of all it's so easy to get caught up in the game when you're playing in it and not realise so us on the bench, that's our job to tell them," Edwards said of the side's improved second half.
"But our ball handling really improved and we weren't getting trapped in the half-court and we were just better with the ball in scoring, simple as that."
Wagga Heat 121
Griffith Demons 71