The North Ballarat Rebels have recorded their first win for the 2016 TAC Cup season, defeating the Calder Cannons by 59 points at RAMS Arena on Saturday.
After trailing by two points after an even opening quarter, the Rebels kicked five goals to Calder’s three in the second quarter to lead by 15 points at the main break, then took over after half time to boot ten second-half goals to just three from the Cannons to score an impressive victory.
In their traditional ANZAC Round encounter, both teams honoured the ANZACs with a moving pre-game ceremony, and after the game Rebels coach Gerard Fitzgerald and stand-in captain Tom Williamson were presented with the ANZAC Cup, which will reside at Eureka Stadium for the next twelve months.
Tall forward Shannon Beks (South Warrnambool) was adjudged the Rebels best player, with his presenting at contests and strong marking a feature of his game. Beks also booted two goals, continuing an impressive fortnight of TAC Cup form after returning from Victoria Country trial games.
Koroit trio Willem Drew, James Gow and Jarrod Korewha were also impressive, with Drew and Gow again standing up in the midfield in the absence of Jarrod Berry and Hugh McCluggage, who were both rested for the game, to continue their fantastic starts to the season, and Korewha was almost impassable across half-back in his best game for the season.
Portland’s Lachlan Huppatz was creative, effective with disposal and seemingly always in the right spots, and Stawell’s Naish McRoberts provided his usual grunt around packs to also be amongst the Rebels best players.
With their first win for the season under their belts, the Rebels return home to play their first game for the season on the new-look Eureka Stadium this weekend, taking on the Bendigo Pioneers on Sunday in the Rebels’ annual Ronald McDonald House Charity Game, which will be a fantastic day and a large crowd is expected to welcome the Rebels home.