A three-minute explosion to end the fourth quarter by the Geelong Falcons handed the Greater Western Victoria Rebels Boys their first defeat of the season at the weekend, by 16 points.
The Rebels led for majority of the day, the Falcons just staying within striking distance at every change to give themselves a sniff.
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It paid off, Geelong heading back down the highway with a 8.8 (56) to 5.10 (40) win.
Coach David Loader told The Courier it was a frustrating return to play.
"(I was) disappointed at our lack of ability to play to structure and to play our roles," he said.
The first half was played in severe fog, players, coaches and supporters unable to see the other side of the ground.
It was cold and dewy, as expected in the depths of a Ballarat winter, leading to a scrappy, tough affair not overly pleasing to the eye, but impressive nonetheless in the way the players committed to the contest when the ball was on the ground.
The Rebels wasted no time hitting the scoreboard despite the conditions, Jake Drever goaling with a right foot dribble kick.
Joshua Rentsch followed suit, drawing a free kick and kicking the easiest of goals from the tip of the goal square.
Geelong hit back strongly, however, leveling the scores by quarter-time.
The game reflected the conditions more in the second quarter, neither side able to trouble the scoreboard for the first 16 minutes, the ball hotly contested and spending a lot of time on the ground.
Rentsch drew two free kicks and kicked two impressive goals from outside 50, the Rebels jumping out to a 15-point lead at the main break.
As the weather cleared, Geelong threw its first major punch in the third quarter, dominating play and kicking two goals in a minute to pull the deficit back to just four points.
Drever bagged his second to give the Rebels some breathing space, a seven-point lead at the final break.
A 50-metre penalty handed the Falcons the break they needed, leveling the scores at 38 a-piece after kicking truly.
A back-and-forth game ensued for the next 15 minutes, neither side able to land the final blow.
Geelong managed to kick the next goal, leading to another two majors within three minutes to end the game, the Rebels' undefeated streak coming to an end.
Loader said in trying conditions Geelong showed better fight.
"To give credit to the opposition they turned up and just out worked us on what was a challenging day conditions wise," he said.
Kai Lohmann and Nicholas Hodgson were two of the better players for the Rebels through the middle of the ground.
Rentsch was superb up forward, putting defenders under pressure and drawing free kicks to bag three goals.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels 2.1 (13), 4.6 (30), 5.7 (37), 5.10 (40)
Geelong Falcons 2.1 (13), 2.3 (15), 4.6 (30), 8.8 (56)
Rebels - J. Rentsch 3, J. Drever, J. Ballantyne
Falcons - W. Baker 2, M. Langan 2, E. Hollard 2, T. Clohesy, T. Gillett
Rebels - M. Herbert, N. Hodgson, H. Sinnott, C. Molan, S. Butler, J. Rentsch
Falcons - O. Morrison, O. Northam, C. Whyte, L. Kidd, B. Reid, J. Clark
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