Rebels Remain In Fifth Spot
The Dandenong Southern Stingrays were the home team on Sunday at Visy Park in a TAC Cup double header against North Ballarat Rebels, but went down by 40 points against a far classier unit, whose foot skills and decision making was the difference on the day.
In cool and fine conditions, the Rebels played a speedy, aggressive and counter attacking style of play that regularly caught out the Stingrays with impressive skills and the release of runners into space.
The Stingrays team fought back after each goal and matched the more experienced Rebels on the scoreboard in the first quarter with both teams having plenty of opportunities to score, but poor decision making and unforced skill errors had both teams at 4 goals apiece as the siren sounded.
First gamer Daniel Jackson showed plenty of poise early to kick a goal in his first game and went on to finish the day with 4 goals 2, which was one of the rare highlights for the day. Alex Benbow returned from Vic Country duties and showed good patches throughout the day, a highlight was a great run from the wing, cutting through traffic a few times and 4 bounces to kick a nice goal just inside 50.
The second and third quarters were nightmares for the Stingrays, apart from a ten minute patch in the third, as they only scored 1.2 whilst the Rebels piled on 8.2 even though statistically the game was very even. Each quarter the Stingrays had roughly the same inside 50 entries as the Rebels, but the outcome was far different on the scoreboard. The Stingrays wasted opportunities and undisciplined frees cost them the opportunity to hit the scoreboard, or even worse forward targets who were starved of the ball, whilst the Rebels were far more efficient every time they went inside 50 and seemed to have runners behind the ball all day.
Jarryd Capiron looked lively at times and was moving well early, as was first gamer Daniel Jackson who was very energetic up forward and was causing a few problems for the Rebels backline. Nathan Wright continued with his form with plenty of run and carry after winning the contested ball of the backline, whilst Damien Johnston had a very good first half, but slightly fell away as the day went on.
The start of the last quarter had the Stingrays coaching staff up on their feet with 3 very quick goals to young gun Daniel Jackson and the margin closing to 3 straight kicks, but undisciplined acts crept back into the game and the Rebels ran away with it, even though they were two players down since the start of the last.
Lachlan Wallace continued with his hard aggressive inside football acts, and Jim Jennings courageously played out the game with a possible fibula fracture his sustained in the first 10 minutes of the game- little to be known to the medical or coaching staff until after the game concluded.
Stingrays Coach Graeme Yeats was very pleased with the endeavor and the development of the younger players.
He said “It’s the time of the year we get a real look at our list depth with Vic Country giving opportunity to plenty of our players.
"The Rebels had a few first game players too. We had plenty of opportunities to hit the scoreboard but execution cost us at the end of the day.
"Ten minutes in the last I thought we were a good chance to steal the game, but a few skill errors cost us and the Rebels made us pay…we will be better for the experience on the bigger ground later on in the year with the finals drawing closer.
"We will continue with the basic skill fundamentals that we lacked today and look at promoting other personal over the next 6 weeks.”
Next weekend is another big test for the Stingrays with 6 day turnaround and a home game at Shepley Oval, against the Western Jets in round 10 of the TAC Cup, whilst North Ballarat Rebels head home to take on the Northern Knights.