Greater Western Victoria Rebels knocked off Northern Knights in the TAC Cup’s wildcard round to give it a finals berth.
The Rebels (ninth) beat the higher ranked Knights, who finished eighth after the home and away season, by 69 points in a commanding 14.7 (91) – 3.4 (22) result.
The Rebels contained the Knights, kicking with a breeze, well in the opening term and then did damage in the second when it had a turn with the wind, kicking 6.1 to 1.1. There was no turning back for the Rebels, booking a meeting with top side Dandenong Stingrays in an elimination final.
Coach Marc Greig said the side’s forward half pressure was a feature as it showed what it was capable of when it brings its best football.
“We built it up as a final, just to give the boys an experience of what it feels like,” Greig said.
The TAC Cup finals system sees first play eighth, second play seventh, and so on – all elimination finals.
The Rebels will have a massive task trying to curtail the Stingrays, who beat them by 97 and 59 points throughout the season.
Greig said he was confident the group would deliver an improved display, but it would have to limit some of the Stingrays’ key playmakers.
“I’m confident we’ll be more competitive this time.
“Their big guys have dominated us each game we’ve played this year, we reckon we’ve improved one-on-one...but that’s something we’ll be talking about.
“There’s certainly plenty of examples over the years in all sports where the clear-cut favourite, which they are by an absolute mile, doesn’t always win.”
Elliot Lamb was a late withdrawal from the side with a shoulder complaint and will be in the mix to return.