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VFL: Cats stung by Scorpions

Shane Kersten of the Cats attempts to mark the ball during the 2013 VFL round 07 match between Geelong and Casey Scorpions at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on May 26, 2013. (Photo: Theo Karanikos/AFL Media)
Shane Kersten of the Cats attempts to mark the ball during the 2013 VFL round 07 match between Geelong and Casey Scorpions at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on May 26, 2013. (Photo: Theo Karanikos/AFL Media)
Casey has thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the competition with a stunning eleven goal to three third quarter at Simonds Stadium, to hand the Bendigo Bank Cats their second defeat for the season; Geelong: 16.11 (107) defeated by Casey: 18.12 (120).

The Cats took a ten point lead into the halftime break, but went into the final change 47 points behind as Casey repeatedly found easy inside 50’s off the back of rebounds from defence.

A marked difference from the first quarter, where the Cats kicked 4.1 to Casey’s 0.6, the third term was a bleak affair for Geelong as turnovers and hesitancy handicapped their ball movement.

Despite the massive slide in momentum the Cats came out with intent in the final term to boot six goals to two, with inspirational drive out of the middle from Murdoch, Corrigan, Selwood and Gleeson. A trio of near misses after a three goal start to the term kept the margin just beyond the Cats before the Scorpions steadied.

When Cowan and Murdoch goaled late in the final term the margin was back to seven points, but Casey were able to push into their attacking half and hold it there, before sealing the win with a stunning goal from the boundary line.

“We couldn't quite get our roles right.” Coach Matthew Knights said after the game.

“We weren’t great around the structures we got beaten in the stoppages. It wasn’t any one area it was a full team area- the players were pretty disappointed at three quarter time.

Knights admits the players and coaching staff will be paying close attention to identifying how Casey got as many goals past them in one quarter as Williamstown did in an entire match.

“We will definitely review it, we will not just say it was one of those quarters. we will review it and see what happened and get the players on that” he said.

The way the boys fought back in the final term is a credit to the team according to Knights who suggests that there is something the players will need to take from today's match.

“We spoke about it in the box, we could put 2 or 3 numbers behind the ball but we wanted the players to work through it, communicate, get it done out there” he said.

“It gives the players a realisation. Unless we play our style of footy for the whole four quarters, good opposition can score on you quickly”.

“This team does fight. once we had a decent discussion at 3qtr time and adjusted, they fight hard you know”.
Josh Cowan had a wonderful return from long term injury playing 70-80% gametime in the middle of the ground against a tough opposition. Cowan was able to find and win the ball and provided plenty of spark around the ground.

“It was great to get out there and have a run around with my good mates today, but unfortunately we didn't get the result” said Cowan.

“Its been 14-15 months since i have played a game, so its been a pretty long week knowing early on that I was going to come in and play this week”.

Cowan believes the support of his teammates got him through the lengthy recovery process, and prepared him for his return game.

“I do like that I got a lot of messages through the week off players like James Kelly, Joel Corey, Joel Selwood, George Horlin-Smith and my housemate Allen Christensen. In the lead up weeks everyone in the club has got around me and lent me support” he said.

Nathan Vardy was consistent up forward, taking plenty of marks, and booting a goal in every quarter. He was also handed support ruck duties to Dawson Simpson who soldiered on in manly fashion throughout the game, at one point roving his own centre bounce tap to set up Brad Hartman for his first ever goal at VFL level.

Vardy saw some thirty minutes of game time in the ruck according to Knights, which indicates how well he is coming along.

“He took some really good marks in the forward line, we gave him ruck work today, we built his ruck time to 30 minutes including center bounces, so that was a good step forward for Nathan” Knights said.

Bendigo Bank Cats: 16.11 (107) defeated by Casey Scorpions: 18.12 (120)
Goals: Vardy 4, Murdoch 3, Corrigan, Kersten 2, Bathie, Condy. Eardley, Cowan, Hartman.
Best: Vardy, T. Selwood, Gleeson, Corrigan, Condy, Murdoch.
Injuries: Hamling (ankle), Sherman (ankle).
Reports: nil @ Simonds Stadium.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs