NORTH Ballarat Rebels will have the ideal preparation for TAC Cup finals with a final round meeting against league pacesetter Oakleigh Chargers on Saturday.
The Rebels suffered a 12.18 (90) to 10.11 (71) defeat to Calder Cannons at Horsham City Oval yesterday.
But Rebels talent manager Phil Partington was rapt with their efforts.
“We were in the game the majority of the game to be honest,” he said.
“Calder Cannons are probably the best team we have played in the TAC Cup.
“They have some cool players who are hard to handle.”
Partington said the Rebels, who trailed at every change, rued missed opportunities while the Cannons scored a number of goals from close range.
“Inside 50s would have been similar and possession count similar,” he said. “We didn’t capitalise but the good thing was our boys didn’t give in and kept battling on.”
Warrnambool’s Tom Schnerring was solid in defence and Hamilton Kangaroos’ Eric Guthrie was strong in midfield.
Partington described Guthrie’s performance as his best at TAC Cup level.
He said the Rebels matched up well against the Chargers.
“We have beaten them before and go into the game with a lot of confidence,” he said.
Geelong Falcons notched a thrilling one-point win against Oakleigh Chargers on Saturday.
Number one draft pick contender Patrick McCartin kicked five goals in the 11.8 (74) to 10.13 (73) win at Kardinia Park.