TAC Cup: North Ballarat Rebels ready for everything in semi-final

NORTH Ballarat Rebels coach David Loader feels his team is really well prepared for a TAC Cup semi-final on Sunday. Everything has been covered off.

ORGANISED: North Ballarat Rebels coach David Loader has ensured everything is in place for a semi-final on Sunday

ORGANISED: North Ballarat Rebels coach David Loader has ensured everything is in place for a semi-final on Sunday

Loader took a small team to study potential rivals battle out an elimination final last Sunday, a day after the Rebels' qualifying final loss.

Watching from the Visy Park stands offered a different perspective on how Sandringham Dragons - who advanced to meet the Rebels - would hit the ground on the same turf for which their battle is set.

The Rebels were quick into thorough recovery, analysis and training at Eureka Stadium this week.

Rebels captain and key tall Keegan Mason passed fitness testing at Thursday night training for a niggling high-ankle injury. Loader said Mason would add a little more size and shape up forward.

The Rebels have called up a couple more running players to add pace against a hard-running Dragons outfit.

Up for grabs is a preliminary final against Oakleigh Chargers.

The Rebels are ready to play.

"We are chock-a-block full of enthusiasm but we're well aware how talented the group we're playing is," Loader said.

"All we need now is for the boys to turn up and bring their A-game.

"...Can we get the job done? We'll find out by Sunday evening."

The Rebels excitement and hunger was clear in the opening quarter of their qualifying final against Calder Cannons last week.

Electric forward Jesse Palmer booted four of his six goals as the Rebels slammed on five goals to launch the match.

The Rebels need to maintain that intensity when the pressure is turned up.

Loader said he would rather his team go out hard early than try and conserve energy to save a game late.

He expects the Dragons' fast wide-spread game to thrive on the big Visy Park ground.

It is important to try and nullify that early and that means capitalising on all chances.

*TAC Cup under-18 competition will unveils this season's best and fairest in the Morrish Medal count on Sunday night.

The Rebels' top-four finish and strong eight-game winning streak mid-season should help them poll well.

North Ballarat is yet to win a Morrish Medal but has twice won the TAC Cup coaches' award - Jake Lloyd in 2012 and Louis Herbert in 2013, both now on AFL lists.


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