Round 10 - Rebels No Match For Poisonous Stingrays

on 24 June 2018
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The Dandenong Southern Stingrays boosted 14 changes from the round 9 side, with 6 debutants getting their chance to don the jumper, all enjoying the comfortable 62-point win over the Greater Western Victorian Rebels on Saturday, 15.16 (106) to 7.5 (47). 

The Stingrays were menacing from the get-go and, save for a couple of momentary lapses in the last quarter, controlled the match all day, never allowing the Rebels to get a sniff. 

Dandenong benefitted from a spread of goalkickers, with Bailey Schmidt and Stephen Cumming managing to bag four majors each, with Josh Johnson 3 goals, Jarryd Barker 2 and two others slotting a goal. 

Schmidt and Cumming’s were the pick of the forwards, bullying their defenders with the high ball. But the bright light might be the first game bottom age player Josh Johnson who had a great day out, playing as the primary lead-up key forward and clearly relishing the opportunity. 

Through the middle, Campbell Hustwaite showed off more of his brilliant form, with brilliant support from the likes of Ned Cahill, Matt Cottrell and Lachlan McDonnell. 

Down back, however, was where the Stingrays really shone. Matthew Cumming gave his best performance of the year, while Jai Taylor move into defence earlier in the season is having benefits of having a steady head, skill and speed. Both were supported by the rock, Matt Gahan who continues to rise in the ranks of the recruiters. 

The Cumming’s brothers and Hustwaite were managed throughout the final stages of the game as a precaution after some soreness late in the match, whilst Gahan and Taylor were thrown on the ball for their development. 

But slight injury concerns aside, stand-in coach Nick Cox was pleased with the final result. 

“leading into this game the challenge given to the group was to play the Stingrays brand of football, no matter who the personal was. Don the jumper, play your role! 

“The Rebels came at us, particularly in the first quarter trying to deny us our style of play. And so, it was good to see how they responded – our second and third quarter I thought, was fantastic. 

“We outscored them and we outworked them for three quarters, the last in junk time we were poor, so it’s a good lesson for the players to learn from that.” 

That was the theme for most of the day – the Rays burst out of the blocks early outworking and outscoring the oppo, with a 5-goal first quarter to set the tone of the day. 

Debutant Josh Johnson won’t forget the first term for a while, booting his first TAC Cup goal with his first TAC Cup kick – even the Rays’ defenders scurried down to the forward line to ruffle his hair in congratulations. 

But to their credit, the Rebels refused to give in and pegged back a goal before the Stingrays broke the shackles to lead 35 to 6 at the closing of the first quarter. 

After the break, the Stingrays lifted their game up another gear, leaving the Rebels in their wake. GWV Rebels simply couldn’t keep up with the ferocious Rays, who gave their opponents no mercy kicking seven goals to two. 

Stephen Cumming kicked 3 Goals, whilst Bailey Schmidt kicked 2 with singles to Fin Bayne and Josh Johnson added another. They were all enjoying getting on the end of the solid work the defenders and midfield were producing. 

By the time the half time siren rang, Dandenong had kicked away to a 59- point lead (79 to 20) with the Rebels goals coming through Wilson. 

After the break the skies opened and the scoring dried up slightly, but it was more of the same with Stingrays kicking goals, whilst the Rebels were playing a more competitive brand, but not getting the reward on the scoreboard. 

The Siren sounded for the final break with the Stingrays leading 102 to 32, it also gave the chance for the magnets to be thrown around a little, really showing the depth of the list as multi-positional players. 

The last quarter saw the only negative for the day for the Stingrays, with the Rebels winning the quarter and doing something that other teams haven’t done too often this year by denying the Stingrays any goals, whilst kicking two majors of their own. 

The win, plus the luck of other results now sees the Stingrays sitting two games clear on top of the TAC Cup ladder, sending another timely reminder that the Stingrays are the genuine 2018 premiership threat. 

They will now enjoy a week off for a TAC Cup general bye, with the next game of their home-and-away season against the Geelong Falcons on Saturday July 7th at Shepley Oval, Dandenong at 2pm. 

“These next game is really important for us, not only for this year but next year,” Stingrays Talent Manager Mark Wheeler admitted. 

“Round 10 and 11 is a new concept from AFL Victoria -which are future rounds. It is where ever side must field a minimum of eleven 17-year-olds. 

It helps AFL recruiters look at future drafting, but for us helps giving games to our talented bottom age players so we can nurture their growth. They’ve been training hard, doing everything we’ve asked since November 2017.” 


Wheeler concluded by saying “this concept forces our hand a little when it comes to list selection and how we build the 2-year list. Today, like last year saw some 17-year-olds stand tall, delivering on the bigger stage that puts pressure on the top age players for the remainder of the year, as well as allowing our 19-year-old players to get some VFL experience (like Lachlan Young and Angus Patterson who are with the Frankston Dolphins) …so we love the concept.”