Gippsland Power charged home to a 27-point victory after a competitive Greater Western Victorian Rebels faded out in the fourth quarter of their TAC Cup clash at Casey Fields on Saturday.
Only percentage separated the teams heading into the match and an arm wrestle ensued for three quarters with multiple lead changes.
The Rebels were first to hit the scoreboard, with both Jordan Johnston and debutant Lochie Dawson kicking majors before the Power replied.
No more than four points separated the Rebels and Power at each of the breaks, with the Rebels leading by only one point going into the final term.
But it was Gippsland that capitalised when it mattered most, kicking a goal in the opening minute of the fourth and piling on two more before a Rebels response.
Rebels coach Gerard FitzGerald said while his players’ best standard of football was pleasing in a “free flowing” and “high quality” game, they still had not mastered consistency.
“(Gippsland) got (six) goals (in the final term) within 13 minutes, so it’s not like they dominated for the entire quarter,” FitzGerald said.
“But they dominated for long enough to take the game away from us.”
FitzGerald said the Rebels’ inside fifties were “okay” in the first three quarters and his players won the ball well, while tackling numbers and effectiveness were solid in parts of the game.
But he said GWV was beaten around the stoppages throughout the match and “given a real lesson” in the fourth term.
“Every time you play you want to get better and our best is clearly better now than what we were a month ago,” FitzGerald said.
“But I want us to play at our best for longer periods of time and continue to work at what we need to do to regain momentum or re-establish momentum when things are just not going our way.”