NORTHERN KNIGHTS 3.3 5.4 8.5 17.7 (109)
NORTH BALLARAT REBELS 0.3 1.5 3.5 4.5 (29)
NORTH Ballarat Rebels coach David Loader was pleased his players measured up well against quality opposition at Eureka Stadium this afternoon.
The Rebels served a challenge to the in-form Northern Knights for three quarters, before falling away dramatically to lose by 80 points, in their final home game this TAC Cup season.
Loader said it was a characteristic of an inexperienced team but, most importantly, players were learning and developing the whole time.
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"No doubt we were competitive...there wasn't a lot in the game up until then, " Loader said.
"We started the game kicking 1.5. If our conversion rate could be a bit better we'd probably be in games a lot longer.
"Unfortunately the flip side of that was the last quarter -what you get in teams without experience when the opposition is up and rolling.
"And they scored heavily against us."
The Knights piled on a nine-goal to three final term.
Loader felt the Rebels were still a chance, five goals down at the final break, had his team snapped a quick opening goal in the fourth.
"We were competivie and that's all you can ask," Loader said.
"You can take a loss if everyone's working and trying their hardest. We certainly got that for three quarters today. A step in the right direction."
The Rebels were under the instruction of assistant coach Mathew Battistello today as part of the Rebels development pathway for coaches.
It gave Loader a chance to work from the bench closely with players in a support role.
The versatile Louis Herbert was clear best for the Rebels in a strong dual against highly-touted Knight Ben Lennon