NORTH Ballarat Rebels talent manager Phil Partington believes his side has turned the corner following an upset TAC Cup win against Oakleigh Chargers on Sunday.
The Rebels – who were without a win from their first four games – beat the previously undefeated Chargers by just three points at Warrawee Park, Oakleigh.
“It was a great reward for the effort the boys have been putting in,” Partington said.
“If you’re not at our games and just read the scores, you might say the Rebels aren’t going too well, but I think we’ve been going okay – we’ve just been lapsing in games and teams have been getting away from us.
“On Sunday we made it a battle for four quarters, persisted with our structures and came away with a really good win against one of the leading teams in the competition.”
In a low scoring, scrappy match, the Rebels stayed with the Chargers for four quarters before a late goal from Horsham Saints product Jacob O’Beirne gave the visitors the lead and a 6.13 (49) to 6.10 (46) win.
“There would’ve been about a minute to go and Jacob had a set shot from about 40 metres out against the wind,” Partington said.
“He certainly made an impact at the right time of the game.”
Partington said despite being beaten in most major statistical areas, his side would take great confidence out of the win.
“We probably lost most of the stats in key areas, but the one thing you can’t put on the stats sheet is the desire and want for the footy, which we had in bucket-loads at the weekend,” he said.
“It was a scrappy game and it rained for the majority of the match, so it became a bit of a war between the side that wanted the footy the most.
"We certainly take a lot out of it – next time we’re in that situation, the boys will have learned from that.”
Wimmera players Darcy Tucker and Oscar McDonald were named among the Rebels’ best, with Tucker collecting an equal team-high 20 disposals off a half-back flank.
Partington said the team had many strong contributors, with the workload shared across the side.
The Rebels’ next assignment is against Northern Knights at Eureka Stadium, Ballarat on Saturday.