Mass changes to the North Ballarat Rebels this round produced big signs of depth and versatility in the playing group.
The Rebels made seven changes to their round-one TAC Cup under-18 winning side, due to injury and AFL Academy duties, and each player called to step up made an impact.
Playing against an unknown Bendigo Pioneers outfit in Bendigo, the Rebels secured an 80-point win on Friday.
And that was on a four-day turnaround from their campaign launch against Geelong.
Rebels coach David Loader said those called up had seized their opportunity.
“The new players that came in were absolutely fantastic. It’s great for so early in the year and shows the benefits of a big pre-season,” he said. “These guys came in and played roles for us. Some had midfield roles and were really solid … they’ve really tried to live up to our brand.”
This sets the tone for what looms as more likely mass changes for the Rebels. Loader said there were another five or six injuries from the game, although he hoped a couple of these players would be ready to face the strong-starting Murray Bushrangers in Bendigo next Saturday.
Rebels full forward Shannon Beks was knocked out in a collision early in the game, forcing the Rebels to move debutant Lloyd Meek and Nick Hausler between ruck and forward duties. Meek, from SMW Rovers, was strong in the hit-outs and booted three goals.
Matt Johnston continued his stellar work with six goals.
Johnston and roving half-back Josh Webster were again the Rebels’ standouts.
MATCH DETAILSNTH BALLARAT 2.0 9.4 14.7 20.8 (128)
BENDIGO 2.1 4.2 6.5 7.6 (48)
GOALS – North Ballarat: Johnston 6 Meek 3 Cowan 2 Templeton 2 White Lee Simpson Lusby Beks Hausler Berry. Bendigo: Mutch 2 Simmons Firebrace White Schultz Free.
BEST – North Ballarat: Johnston Webster Templeton Cowan McClure Hausler. Bendigo: Free Fox Ryan Mahony Burke Tardrew.
AFL VICTORIA UNDER-16 COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
BENDIGO 4.3 6.8 7.9 14.10 (94)
NTH BALLARAT 1.4 2.5 5.6 7.7 (49)
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.