The result sees Murray lose touch with the top-2 and are now only above Sandringham and Dandenong due to superior percentage. The Rebels remain half a game outside the top-8 with three matches to play.
Windy conditions meant the game was scrappy at times throughout the day, so it was difficult for individuals to stand-out. Here are some of the day’s top performers:
AIDEN DOMIC | GWV | MID | 16-7-99 | 185CM | 81KG
Domic was the Rebels’ most consistent player for four quarters, but turned it on especially for the last. He amassed 10 of his 28 disposals in the last stanza as one of the primary catalysts for the turnaround. He kicked his side’s first three goals of the final term within three minutes to bring the margin back to a manageable figure and give his side belief.
Domic is a prolific ball-winner as an outside midfielder, as he uses his elite running capacity to find space and hurt the opposition. He had 34 disposals in a losing effort last time against the Bushies, but ensured his good work would not go to waste this time around. Domic can consider himself hard done by to miss out on Vic Country’s squad, but has been invited to the national scouting combine to be held in October.
CALLAN WELLINGS | GWV | MID | 20-2-98 | 181CM | 71KG
Wellings had what has become a typical day at the office for him. He did a little bit of everything with 23 disposals, 7 marks, 4 tackles and a goal, but what really stood out was his calmness under pressure while many players around him seemed to struggle in the blustery conditions. Unfortunately, injury robbed Wellings of a chance at representing Vic Country in his overage year, so he will need to maintain this level of consistency to remain a chance of finding his way onto an AFL list later this year.
JORDAN JOHNSTON | GWV | FWD/MID | 9-9-99 | 184CM | 76KG
Having been used mostly as a small forward during his TAC Cup career, Johnston was given the opportunity to strut his stuff as a midfielder on Sunday and didn’t disappoint. He had 18 disposals and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, with 11 contested possessions and 7 tackles. While he did his best work in-and-under the packs, he remained a goal threat, with a snap out of congestion at the 22-minute mark of the last quarter producing the game’s only lead change.
AARON SHEPHERD | GWV | FWD | 5-2-99 | 185CM | 85KG
Shepherd played as the Rebel’s primary forward target, battling admirably in a difficult position. He is clearly under-sized and out of position as a key forward, but gave the Rebels enough of a target to remain competitive early on. Only inaccuracy kept him from having an impressive day statistically, but finishing with 2.3 and two score assists would certainly be seen as at least a satisfactory return by the Rebels’ coaching staff.
DOULTON LANGLANDS | MURRAY | DEF | 29-7-99 | 187CM | 79KG
Langlands was the best player on the ground until the unthinkable fourth quarter. He appeared to have more attacking freedom in the absence of All-Australian Ben Paton, who played for Collingwood’s VFL affiliate on the weekend. Langlands used this licence to great effect to link up play through the midfield with handball and plenty of gut-running. Recruiters will have been pleased to see his ability to accumulate possessions to compliment his already well-recognised defensive traits. He finished with 22 disposals and a goal.
JORDoN BUTTS | MURRAY | FWD | 31-12-99 | 195CM | 80KG
Butts showed flashes as an athletic marking target across half-forward for Murray, but the combination of sub-par delivery in the wind and solid defensive effort from the under-sized Flynn Appleby kept him from exerting too much influence on the game. Still, Butts’ athleticism at 195cm makes him an intriguing draft prospect. He will have the opportunity to show off his athletic traits at the national combine.
DANIEL JOHNSTON | MURRAY | FWD/RUC | 1-12-99 | 196CM | 99KG
Johnston proved to be nearly impossible to handle up forward for Murray, who looked to use him as a deep marking target at every opportunity. The Rebels had no match-up for Johnston, who finished with four contested marks and four goals. The big forward looked to be the difference between the two sides until three-quarter-time.
NICHOLAS MURRAY | MURRAY | DEF | 18-12-00 | 190CM | 83KG
Murray was impressive for the Bushrangers in defence, covering for the absent Alex Paech. He had some nervy contests early on, but grew in confidence as he was able to use his size to his advantage and compete effectively in the air. Despite being the youngest player on the ground, he wasn’t afraid to be vocal with his team mates in directing traffic from defence. This show of confidence bodes well for his future development.