Earlier today, three Rebels featured in Victoria Country’s thrilling five-point win over Vic Metro in the opening round of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.
Rebels captain Darcy Tucker, Yestin Eades and Jarrod Berry all contributed to Country’s stirring 11.7 (73) to 10.8 (68) victory at Simonds Stadium.
Eades featured in the final passage of play for the game, in which Country moved the ball swiftly from half back to hit a target inside forward 50 with just seconds remaining.
In the most dramatic fashion, Country kicked truly after the siren to steal the win from their rivals.
While none of the Rebels produced standout displays, all had their moments throughout the pressure-filled contest.
Tucker was less prolific than usual but still impressed with his decision-making in congestion, while Eades showed positive signs up forward.
The fleet-footed Berry was particularly impressive, kicking two goals despite limited game time.
AFL Victoria Country Talent Manager Phil Partington praised young Berry for his efforts.
“He showed some really good composure under pressure, which we were really pleased with as a coaching group,” Partington said.
“We think Jarrod has a high future in the game. He made the right decisions when it counted too.”
Several other Rebels players also got to strut their stuff on the weekend.
Top-age duo Matthew Johnston and Tom Templeton took part in an exhibition match following the main event, in which Country’s secondary team fell short by just one point against a Vic Metro B side.
Johnston kicked two goals rotating between the forward line and midfield, while Templeton attended a number of centre bounces and produced a solid effort in the loss.
Youngster Connor Byrne travelled to New South Wales to play for the UWS Giants in the North East Australian Football League, collecting 11 disposals and kicking a goal, while 19-year-old Josh Webster impressed in his debut for North Ballarat in the VFL.
A team will be finalised on Tuesday for Country’s second game of the Championships against Western Australia this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Rebels will strive for seven wins in a row when they travel to Ararat to face Sandringham on Sunday.