NORTH Ballarat Rebels are sweating on the fitness of promising ruckman Rowan Marshall for their clash with Sandringham Dragons next weekend.
The Portland teenager rolled his ankle in the last quarter of the Rebels’ 9.19 (73) to 7.11 (53) win against Gippsland Power on Saturday.
Marshall was named North Ballarat’s best, slotting back into the TAC Cup line-up a week after his solid Vic Country debut with aplomb.
Rebels coach David Loader said the club was hopeful Marshall would be fit to play at Eureka Stadium on Saturday.
“We packed ice on him the minute he hurt himself,” he said. “Hopefully he’s fine.”
Loader said Marshall — one of the Rebels’ 19-year-old-listed players — was fantastic in the ruck.
“He’s so competitive and he’s nice and fit so he can run around the ground and cover the turf,” he said.
“He played a great role in the ruck, has good hands and he’s positioning himself around the ground — he’s doing a lot of things right.”
Marshall’s Portland teammate Tom Templeton kicked a goal to also be among the Rebels’ most prolific performers.
Templeton has joined Marshall in Vic Country’s final 40-player squad for the AFL under 18 national championships.
Warrnambool defender Tom Schnerring was another south-west teenager to impress in the win against Gippsland.
North Ballarat turned an eight-point quarter-time deficit into a 13-point half-time lead with the Rebels extending their buffer to 32 points at the final change.
Loader said the win — their third in a row after dropping their first four games — highlighted the side’s capabilities.
“We weren’t far away the first four rounds,” he said.
“We were really unlucky we hadn’t won one or two of those games.
“No doubt we’ve had better input over the board (the past three games) but the boys are also learning to play good footy together.”
Geelong Falcons slumped to a 13.15 (93) to 7.8 (50) loss to Eastern Ranges on Saturday.