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Sat 17
Rebels AFC
Hamilton Wildcats
Grand Final 2022: Rebels vs Wildcats

Grand Final 2022: Rebels vs Wildcats

By Michael Fabbri
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Rebels fight to the end but ultimately come up empty in the Final

The Rebels entered the 2022 Grand Final full of confidence after a stirring win the week before, they knew this week would be a huge challenge against the 1st placed and very experienced team from Hamilton. The Rebels season was driven by the army of rookies they have developed since 2020 and this was even more evident with 35 players available to play this week. It was also our Vice Captains Browny 50th game for the club, well dome mate.

A bumper crowd came out for the game in Toronto and there was a massive Rebels contingent featuring past players, partners and sponsors. Thank you to all that came out to show the strength and depth that the Rebels have built over the past 32 years.

A quick start in big games is key and it was the Wildcats that got their way early kicking the first 2 goals in a matter of minutes. The Rebels came to life though after the early onslaught with a nice snap from Jordy steadying the ship. The ball was moving up and down the field quite quickly with both midfields trying to get on top. The likes of Cowboy, Snickers and Udai were doing all they could to keep things running our way but it was Hamilton again that kicked away to a 2 goal lead. The Rebels showed some more fight and managed to get a couple more goals through Kid and Snickers to make the difference only 5 points at the first change.

Q1 Score: Rebels 3.2.20 to Wildcats 4.1.25

The second quarter was a battle but it was again Hamilton who got on the board early. Browny, Rhonan and all the defenders were doing what they could to limit the damage and their pressure an intensity helped keep the Cats to only 2 goals for the quarter. Our Captain Kid was patrolling the ground and doing all he could to drive the ball forward with Alex and Stokes but at the main change the boys found themselves down by 21 points.

Q2 Score: Rebels 3.2.20 to Wildcats 6.5.41

Going into the 3rd, the ask was simple. Lets outscore the Cats and give ourselves a chance in the last. The midfield stepped up the pressure through Jedi, Giant and Spanner giving the Rebels forwards many chances to convert. Browny was again doing his part across half back with Woz and Mahi keeping the Cats without a goal for the quarter. The Rebels got one of their own from Fabs but were only able to reduce the margin by 1 point going into the last.

Q1 Score: Rebels 4.3.25 to Wildcats 6.11.47

With everything on the line the Rebels made some changes with Browny going forward and Leon joining the midfield brigade. This paid immediate dividends with Browny getting a goal after a strong mark and the ball spending a majority of time in the Rebels half. With Duffy and Bull now down back, the Hamilton boys could not get anything going and after a long bomb goal from Alex the Rebels found themselves within a goal of tying the contest. Some great transition play from defence to offence started by Stokes ended with a shot on goal with less than a minute left. But in heartbreaking fashion, the ball dropped short and was touched through on the line for one point. The siren sounded shortly thereafter only to see the Rebels lose by 5 points.

Q1 Score: Rebels 6.6.42 to Wildcats 6.11.47
Goals: Jordy 1, Kid 1, Fabs 1, Snickers 1, Browny 1, Alex 1.

Although the result on the day was disappointing, the Rebels season 2022 was nothing less than exceptional. A team built with Rookies that lost their first game by 90 points to bounce back and only lose a Grand Final by 5 points is an amazing achievement.

A big thank you to everyone involved with this great club, I have no doubt that 2023 will be bigger and better.


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Match date

Sat 17, Sep 2022