Greater Western Victoria Rebels were hammered in its TAC Cup final against Dandenong Stingrays on Saturday.
In the first versus eighth clash, the difference in class was evident, the Stingrays comprehensive winners, 19.20 (134) – 3.6 (24).
A goalless first quarter as Dandenong kicked four set-up a one-sided opening half, 22 scoring shots to four delivered a 63-point advantage at the main break.
Coach Marc Greig said the application in the third quarter was much better, but his side was unable to reflect it on the scoreboard.
Greig said his group did not settle and was overwhelmed by the occasion.
“The boys were just overawed by the occasion,” Greig said.
“At no point in the first half did we look composed when we had the footy, even to just play five or 10 minutes on our own terms.
“Dandenong were clearly too good, there is no question about that.
“We were really pleased with their third quarter, the way they responded, we just couldn’t quite get the goals on the board.”
Greig said it was a great learning curve for his developing group, particularly the younger members of the side.
Dandenong are the clear benchmark of the competition and as it flexed its muscle against a Rebels side that had to win its way into the eight during the wildcard round, Greater Western Victoria got a first-hand look at where it needs to get to.
“That’s how fit, fast and strong you have to get – as well as make good decisions with the football. It’s ok to be talented, which they all are, but to do the extra work required to get to where they want to get to.
“It’s in their control, so it was a learning curve, for the bottom-agers in particular.
The Stingrays weren’t beaten in many areas on the weekend, and its dominance in the air was a glaring factor.
The big-bodied Dandenong took 23 marks inside its attacking 50 while the Rebels could not find a target, taking just four.