NAB Boys - Stingrays go down to Rebels in Bendigo

on 12 April 2021
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After a clinical display last week, the Dandenong Stingrays suffered its first loss of the 2021 season, at the hands of the Greater Western Victoria Rebels.

In blustery conditions at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo, the Rays went down 7.6 (48) to 8.8 (57).


Nick Cox’s men got the jump early, kicking the opening major off the boot of Clayton Gay, but a goal after the siren of the first quarter saw the Rebels tie it up at the first break.


Miller Bergman was electric across half-back, kickstarting the Rays ball movement with class and penetration.


The Rebels edged away in the second term, converting three goals to one as the conditions and congestion around the contest started to impact the ability to move the ball swiftly.


Unfortunately for the Rays, the premiership quarter expressed similar events to the second, as the Rebels added another three goals to one.


Heading into the final change, the message from Cox was clear: continue to back the system and brand that had delivered in previous performances.


The Dandenong side did so with pleasure, peeling off the mark at every opportunity, using the 45 degree kicks, sending the ball long and direct to the scoreboard end.


Dandenong got within two kicks twice as it pressed its case for a comeback, but it ultimately proved the margin between the two sides, as the Rebels were the side to continue its undefeated start to the much anticipated season.


While disappointed his side couldn’t come away with the four points, Rays coach Nick Cox was pleased with the output from some certain individuals.


Miller Bergman had a stupendous afternoon, kicking three goals, collecting 20 disposals and covering 13.5 kilometres in just 100 minutes of footy.


“At times we executed poorly and that was (a result from) the pressure the Rebels put us under,” Cox said.


“We probably had 20 more inside 50s, but with the amount of congestion that was in there, we needed to execute a bit better.


“I think other than the loss, there was no negatives for the day; a lot of players stood out I thought.


“What’s really important for players in the NAB League is that players are versatile in a lot of roles.


“I was proud of the boys and the way they fought it out.


“There was some pleasing performances, I thought Mac Andrew was superb in the ruck, as was Paddy Gerdan.


“Miller Bergman played back for three quarters and kicked three, he looked really dangerous and probably could’ve won the game off his own boot with the way he was looking,” he said.


Moving on quickly from the defeat at the hands of the Rebels, Cox is looking ahead to an entertaining clash that awaits his side this Saturday against a red hot Sandringham Dragons outfit.


“They (Sandringham) have a lot of talent,” he said.


“They will want to play the way they want to play, it will be fast.


“We are really looking forward to competing and I think our boys will give it the utmost.”


The match between the Stingrays and the Dragons will commence at Trevor Barker Beach oval on Saturday 17 April at 2:15pm.



Bergman 3, Gay 1, Cahill 1, Clarke 1, Robinson 1.



MacDonald 33, Gay 24, Bravo 21, Bergman 20.



Bergman, Cahill, Davies, Didomenicantonio, MacDonald, Andrew.