TAC Cup: Three inclusions to help defeat Dragons

Greater Western Victoria Rebels have made three changes to their round eight side, which will travel to Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday to take on the fourth-placed Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup competition.

SELECTION: Greater Western Victorian Rebel Naish McRoberts, pictured here in last year's match against Sandringham, returns. Picture: Kate Healy

SELECTION: Greater Western Victorian Rebel Naish McRoberts, pictured here in last year's match against Sandringham, returns. Picture: Kate Healy

Josh Chatfield makes his return to the football oval after a lower back injury kept him out of the Rebels’ line up.

Chatfield is expected to play 50 to 60 per cent game time. 

Jacob Lohmann has been named on the bench, coming back from injury to play as a small defender in his second game. 

Meanwhile, Naish McRoberts is included as part of the 19-year-old rotation system, replacing Lachlan Wareham who has been rested due to knee soreness.

Last week’s debutant Jack Antonio has kept his spot after impressing against Western Jets with two goals, while Matt Schnerring, who was a late inclusion, also remains in the side following a good performance.  

An ankle injury to Thomas Berry has kept him on the sidelines, while 17-year-old Luke Bull comes out as a developing player. 

Coach Gerard FitzGerald said while there would always be injuries to contend with, overall the list had been managed “pretty well”.

The Rebels are looking forward to the challenge of a top team such as Sandringham, after coming off an eight-point win against Western Jets at Eureka Stadium. 

While the Dragons are looking to bounce back from a 23-point loss to the Murray Bushrangers. 

“They are consistently good within this competition… and the players walk into their environment knowing they have a good culture,” FitzGerald said of Sandringham. 

FitzGerald said some of the key focuses for the Rebels in the upcoming match would be being both organised and effective around stoppages, and continuing to refine ball movement and learn what to do when the players do not have the ball. 

“I’m seeing some good signs in the development of my boys in terms of issues that we raise with them that we need to get better at,” he said.

“But I want us to even out and play with a greater level of consistency.” 

A win would give the Rebels a four win and four loss record heading into the bye. 

“It would be a good reward for the work that the boys have done so far in trying to improve,” FitzGerald said. 

B: M. Bishop, J. Taurau, T. Scott; HB: M. Lloyd, F. Appleby, S. Carlin; C: D. Cox, A. Domic, C. Henson; HF: J. Hill, K. Gray, J. Chatfield; F: M. Schnerring, J. Johnston, C. Wilson; R: L.Meek, C. Wellings, N. McRoberts; Int: J. Lohmann, T. Reed, A. Gove, T. Watts, H. Hobbs, L. Essenwanger, J. Antonio (23rd)