Nelson Troon celebrates after kicking a crucial goal during the last quarter of GWV Rebels' upst win over Gippsland Power at Shepley Oval on Sunday. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos

GWV REBELS 10.9 (69)

GREATER Western Victoria brought the NAB League premiership race back to life and gave itself a chance to pinch a top three spot by overrunning Gippsland by 11 points at Shepley Oval on Sunday.

The Rebels paced the ladder leader for three quarters, edging ahead for the first time midway through the third on the back of an Aaron Cadman goal, but it looked like the Power would have the answers when Vinnie Caia put them back in front nine minutes into the last.

Brody Pope fires off a handball for the Rebels. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos

However, Beau Tedcastle and Nelson Troon hit back almost immediately, and when Cadman kicked a clutch late goal on the run from 40m on the boundary GWV had inflicted Gippsland’s second loss in three games and set themselves up to potentially pinch a bye on the Wildcard Weekend – and the Rebels will know if it is achievable or not by the time they play Geelong on the final Sunday.

Bottom-ager Joel Freijah, 16, starred for the Rebels with 25 disposals, seven marks and seven inside-50s, Hamish Sinnott (20, seven marks, six rebounds) and Jimmy Van Es (13, nine marks) impressed in defence, Tristan Maple (27, five tackles) and Brody Pope (23, six tackles) were good on the ball and Cadman (10 marks, three goals) and Tedcastle (six marks, three goals) provided a deadly one-two punch in attack.

Mitch Moschetti returned from an impressive VFL stint with Carlton to be Gippsland’s best, picking up 28 possessions, seven tackles and six rebounds, with support coming from Paddy Cross (20, five tackles, six entries), Jonti Schuback (20) and Cooper Vickery (18, six rebounds), while Zane Duursma was held to 13 touches but still impacted with two goals, and Bailey Humphrey provided a strong presence up forward in his second game back from a knee injury with six marks, but kicked 1.4.

Cooper Brown kicks just before being tackled by Declan McGuigan. Picture: AFL Photos

WESTERN JETS 17.10 (112)

WESTERN ended Oakleigh’s top-three hopes and showed it can’t be underestimated in the finals with a comprehensive 37-point win at Williamstown on Saturday.

The Jets fell off the pace in the first half of the season but have hit back hard with consecutive wins against higher-ranked opponents, with this one coming on the back of a brilliant second half in which they kicked seven goals to two and six to two in each term to overturn a 12-point half-time deficit.

The Chargers actually led by 19 points six minutes into the third term but the Jets’ kicked nine goals to one from 7:39 in the third to 4:31 in the last, including four and three respectively to key forwards Logan Morris and Jovan Petric, to turn the game on its head.

Morris finished with 5.1 from 10 disposals and five marks, while Petric kicked 3.1 from 12 touches as the pair cashed in on a career-best performance from Jake Smith (30 possessions, six inside-50s, two goals), while Jaelen Pavlidis used his experience from a couple of VFL games for GWS to have 23 disposals, six inside-50s and one goal and Diesel Moloney (18, six marks, five tackles), Tom Rowland (20) and Jack Bonnett (14, seven marks, seven tackles, one goal) also made an impact.

Kynan Brown was brilliant for Oakleigh with 29 possessions, eight marks, five tackles, six entries, one goal, Hamish Heine (24, six marks, nine rebounds) a tower of strength in defence and Hudson O’Keefe (27 hitouts) dominating the ruck, while up forward Tom Gross (18, nine marks) caused all sorts of problems but let himself down by kicking 0.6, with Williamstown-listed Ben Woodfull enjoying a run on his home VFL ground to grab six marks and boot three majors.

Pioneer Harley Reid flips a handball over the head of Stingray Jess McManus. Picture: AFL Photos


CALDER tipped Murray out of the top eight after outlasting the Bushrangers by 11 points in a tough contest at Shepparton’s Deakin Reserve on Saturday.

In a game where the lead never got beyond Murray’s 15-point gap late in the first quarter, the Cannons clung onto the Bushrangers’ coat tails in the first half before the lead changed three times in a pulsating third quarter, with goals to Jack Brown and Declan Willmore in the shadows of the last break giving the visitors the impetus.

Ashtyn Atkinson brought the home team within three points early in the last, but Calder took control, kicking the next two goals to seal an impressive victory.

Brown led the way for the Cannons with 22 disposals, seven tackles, five entries and a goal, Nash King (20, six entries) starred on debut, Kade Mueller (18, one goal), Caleb Burquest (16, six inside-50s, 13 tackles) and Matt Foley (16, eight rebounds) worked overtime and Carlos Egan chipped in with three goals from four kicks.

Brisbane Lions’ father-son prospect Noah Bradshaw was again the Bushrangers’ best player, picking up 26 touches, taking eight marks and laying six tackles, with Caleb Mitchell (22, five marks, six tackles), Ryan Eyers (19, eight marks), Nick Quigg (18, six marks, seven tackles), Mitch Way (16, 12 marks, one goal) and Darcy Wilson (16, six marks, one goal) also putting in strong shifts.

Dandenong's Billy Wilson kicks past the smothering attempt of Bendigo's Oliver Poole. Picture: AFL Photos


DANDENONG was forced to fight all the way to see off a concerted challenge from Bendigo, twice losing the lead in the last quarter before scraping home by seven points in a thrilling first game of the Shepley Oval double-header on Sunday.

Pioneer Harley Reid sends a kick into attack. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos

The Stingrays remain a game clear in the top three, but missed a chance to consolidate their position ahead of the final round next week against the second-bottom Pioneers.

Bendigo actually got out to a 22-point lead in the second quarter before Dandenong kicked the next six goals (and eight out of nine) either side of half-time, and it looked like they would break away with a 23-point margin of their own, but the plucky Pioneers came again, slamming on five of the next six and regaining the lead in the 10th minute of the last through Will Burke.

The teams traded the next two goals and the scores were level when Ned Moodie picked up a clean half-volley and sent it deep for Kade De La Rue to swoop and break Bendigo hearts inside the final minute.

Stingray stars Henry Hustwaite (27, seven marks, six tackles, eight inside-50s) and Finn Emile-Brennan (23, eight marks, eight rebounds) were good for most of the day but really stood up in the last term, while bottom-age skipper Cooper Simpson (22, seven marks, five tackles, two goals) put in another outstanding performance for his fifth 20+ disposal game in a row.

Kobe Shipp (24, nine marks) and Billy Wilson (21, seven rebounds) also impressed, while Ziggy Toledo kicked a season-high four goals in his fifth game back after missing the first half of the season with an ankle injury.

Bendigo had a clear winner in Carlton-listed Harvey Gallagher, who worked hard up and down the ground, taking kick-ins and getting forward to kick three goals, while picking up 24 disposals, six marks and nine rebounds.

Jason Gillbee (20, five marks, six rebounds), Michael Kiraly (19, seven marks, six tackles, eight inside-50s), Harley Reid (19, five tackles, six entries, one goal) and Charlie Hillier (16, six marks, one goal) were others to star for the Pioneers.

Stingray Matthew Nelson kicks ahead of Pioneer Tobie Travaglia. Picture: AFL Photos

EASTERN RANGES 20.10 (130)

EASTERN sent a message that it can’t be forgotten about in the race for the NAB League premiership with a stunning 77-point belting of Sandringham at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday.

The Ranges climbed to sixth on the congested ladder and above the Dragons with an almost complete display, blowing out to a 41-point lead at half-time and then switching back on after a third-quarter snooze to pile on 8.1 to 1.3 in the last term.

William Evans (22, eight marks, six tackles), Cody Anderson (21, seven tackles, five entries), Callum Verrall (18, six marks, nine rebounds, one goal), Jye Peacock (26), Jackson Winter (18, six marks, one goal), Harry Flynn (19, six rebounds), Lewis Hayes (14, six marks) and Josh Bennetts (13, six entries, one goal) were all terrific for Eastern, setting up a dominant forward line of Connor Smith (18, six marks, three goals), debutant Josh Galstians (17, three goals) and Mason Helleran and Josh Smith (four goals each).

Will Ashcroft (38, five marks) racked them up again for Sandringham, with Nathan Scollo (24, 13 marks, nine rebounds repelling as much as he could in defence and Ben Andrews (16 hitouts) trying hard in the ruck, but apart from Charlie Clarke (21, two goals) and Lachie Benton (21) there was not much for the Dragons to get excited about, and a calf injury to Ben Hempel compounded a miserable day where they seemed to offer little resistance in the last quarter.

Rebel Samuel Lalor handballs clear of Power's Paddy Cross. Picture: AFL Photos


TASMANIA sealed its top-three berth and gained a slim hope of pinching the minor premiership off Gippsland with a flattering 34-point win over bottom team Northern Knights at Genis Steel Oval on Saturday.

The Knights took it up to the highly-rated Devils in the first half, holding the margin to just seven points at the main break, but they couldn’t quite maintain the charge as the visitors battled clear with four goals to two in each of the third and fourth quarters.

The win drew Tasmania level on points with ladder leader Gippsland, and with its home-and-away season over due to a final-round bye, it won’t play again for the next three weeks before a likely home quarter-final on the first weekend in September – and it will enter that clash as the No.1 seed if the Power lose to Dandenong by more than nine goals in the final round.

Seth Campbell (21 disposals, nine marks, six tackles, five entries), Lachie Cowan (20, five tackles, seven rebounds), Coby McKercher (24, six inside-50s) and Heath Ollington (19, five tackles) did well for the Devils, firing the ball forward for Will Splann (six marks, 3.1), Brandon Leary (six marks, 2.3) and Jack Callinan (five marks, 2.2).

Dandenong's Ned Moodie marks strongly in front of Bendigo's Malik Gordan. Picture: AFL Photos

Bye: Geelong Falcons


Gippsland's Jacob Konstanty tries to break a tackle. Picture: AFL Photos


August 13-14: General bye

NEXT WEEK: ROUND 16: Friday, August 19: Dandenong Stingrays v Gippsland Power (Skybus Stadium, 7.30pm). Saturday, August 20: Northern Knights v Western Jets (Genis Steel Oval, 10am) ; Sandringham Dragons v Oakleigh Chargers (RSEA Park, 12.30pm); Eastern Ranges v Calder Cannons (RSEA Park, 3pm). Sunday, August 21: Bendigo Pioneers v Murray Bushrangers (Queen Elizabeth Oval, 11.30am); GWV Rebels v Geelong Falcons (Queen Elizabeth Oval, 2pm). Bye: Tasmania Devils.

THEN: August 26-27: Wildcard Weekend: 4v13, 5v12, 6v11, 7v10, 8v9

Charlie Hillier looks to handball for the Pioneers. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos

(All games are streamed live on the NAB League app except for the Herald Sun games, which are on that website).


Leading goalkicker Zane Duursma drives the ball into attack. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos

29: Zane Duursma (Gippsland) 2
Brandon Leary (Tasmania) 2
Aaron Cadman (GWV) 3
27: Will Splann (Tasmania) 3
Logan Morris (Western) 5
Brady Wright (GWV) 0
Harry Sheezel (Sandringham) 1
Ingo Dammersmith (Oakleigh) 1
Euriah Hollard (Geelong) bye
Jovan Petric (Western) 3
Beau Tedcastle (GWV) 3
Tom Gillet (Geelong) dnp
17: Charlie Clarke (Sandringham) 2
Brayden George (Murray) dnp
Fletcher Hart (Murray) 2
16: Bailey Humphrey (Gippsland) 1
Seth Campbell (Tasmania) 1
15: Joeve Cooper (Murray) 1
Jerome Lawrence (Oakleigh) dnp
Harry Miller (Western) 2
Toby Murray (Murray) 0
Nick Watson (Eastern) dnp
15: Riley Weatherill (Eastern) 0

GWV's Oliver Hannaford sizes up his options. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos
Bendigo's Ben Cameron looks for a handball as he is tackled. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos
Rebel Ethan Boyd shows Power's Sam Hallyburton a clean pair of heels. Picture: AFL Photos
Ziggy Toledo surges towards goal for the Stingrays. He kicked four in the narrow win. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos