It was a tale of two halves for the GWV Rebels as poor execution early cost them late against the Dandenong Stingrays in the opening around of the new NAB League U18 boys season.
The rebels forward 50 saw plenty of the ball in the first half, but a combination of relentless defensive pressure and a swift counter attack from the Stingrays saw them fall behind by 28 points at the half.
Rebels coach Marc Greig spoke about his frustration with their poor use of the football in the first half.
"That first quarter we just leaked to many goals," he said about the Stingrays putting on five goal in the first term.
"We were sharing it around very well but were not making any ground. The stats show that we mucked around and were very inefficient with the ball.
"Two goals eight doesn't win you any games."
The Rebels came out looking like a different team in the second half, beginning to capitalise on their opportunities as they moved the ball forward, tacking on four goals and building confidence.
Rebels forward Jed Hill spoke about the shift in intensity as they came out of the race in the second half.
"I think we just wanted to work for each other," he said.
"We used the first option and got the ball on the boot which meant we were able to get one-on-ones down the field."
The Rebels were able to close the gap to less than 10 points for the first time since the first quarter with only minutes to spare, however some inaccurate kicking let them down, ultimately falling by six points.
Greig believes there are a lot of positives to be taken out of Saturday's game.
"There was a lot of rust early and in that second half we started to hit our targets and got good clean possessions, which was really pleasing."
Hill reiterated his coaches statements, saying the teams resilience is a big step up from last year.
"Last year I think a lot of the time when other teams got a run on we dropped our heads - today we kept positive and kept working for each other the whole game."
1.4-10, 2.8-20, 6.9-45, 11.14-80.
5.2-32, 7.6-48,10.8-68, 13.8-86.
GOALKICKERS: Rebels: M. Lloyd 3, J. Wright 2, M. Jorgensen 2, I. Thomas, M. Martin, T. Mahony, C. Craig-Peters. Stingrays: E. Cahill 2, B. Nyuon 2, C. Gay 2, H. Sullivan, L. Goonan, J. Toner, K. George, H. Berenger, C. Weightman, J. Nanscawen.
BEST: Rebels: C. Craig-Peters, M. Martin, L. Herbert, J. Hill, M. Lloyd, R. Polkinghorne. Stingrays: L. Williams, J. Toner, C. Gay, J. Nanscawen, D. Popa, B. Schmidt.
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