The North Ballarat Rebels winless start to season 2016 continues, following a thirteen point loss to the Murray Bushrangers on Sunday.
Whilst plenty of positives could be taken from the game as the Rebels took it right up to the ladder-leading Bushrangers at IKON Park in Carlton, the boys from the border had too much polish in the end and continued their unbeaten 2016 season to date, winning 7.17.59 to 5.16.46
After neither side could manage a goal in a pressure-filled opening quarter, the Rebels were able to hit the scoreboard in the second quarter to take a three-point lead into the half-time break.
The third quarter proved the difference in the game though, as the Bushrangers kicked the only three goals of the term to take a seventeen point lead into the final break.
The Rebels game themselves a chance to win the game with eleven scoring shots in the final quarter, but could only manage two goals, which the Bushrangers were able to match to ensure they remained in front when the final siren sounded.
South Warrnambool’s Hugh McCluggage was the standout player for the Rebels, carrying the scintillating form he showed over the past fortnight for the AFL/AIS Academy into Sunday’s game. The Rebels’ leading ball-winner with 28 possessions, he was again busy through the midfield and booted a crucial goal in the final quarter that gave the Rebels a sniff of victory.
Koroit pair James Gow and Willem Drew also continued their great starts to the season with impressive performances through the midfield, key defender Sam White (South Mallee Giants) played his best game of the year in helping to keep the usually potent Bushrangers to their lowest score of the season, speedster Charlie Lee (South Warrnambool) was impressive in his return from injury and the creative Izaac Johnson (Echuca/St Patrick’s College) booted two goals and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.
The Rebels have only a short time to regroup before their Round 4 clash with the Calder Cannons at RAMS Arena, Craigieburn this Saturday, and with the Cannons also winless to date in season 2016, the Rebels will be confident that a similar showing to last week will see them sing their club song for the first time this year.