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VFL: Cats thump Tigers

Josh Walker of the Cats poses for a photograph during a 2015 Geelong Cats portrait session at Simmonds Stadium, Geelong on February 17, 2015. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Josh Walker was dominant in the VFL

Geelong’s VFL side has continued their impressive start to 2015 as they defeated Richmond at Simonds Stadium on Saturday, claiming a runaway victory 19.10 (124) to Richmond’s 5.7 (37).

The first quarter started off strongly with the Cats putting a focus on defensive pressure early, holding the Tigers goalless until the 20 minute mark of the first term. Hamish McIntosh pushed his claim for round one selection dominating from the first bounce with 14 hitouts. New recruit Sam Blease also showed off his pace with numerous running efforts and a goal late in the term.

McIntosh continued his ruck dominance in the second term, even grabbing the ball out of the ruck on occasion to propel the Cats forward. Michael Luxford and Sam Blease were the sparks for Geelong in the second term as their pace and tackling ability helped the Cats get out to a 35-point lead at the main break.

The third term was all Geelong as the Tigers failed to register a score whilst the Cats piled on six goals, including two from Josh Walker. McIntosh looked unstoppable, taking marks all over the ground and even floating forward for a goal.

The final term was more tightly contested initially as the Tigers managed to pull the lead back with a couple of early goals but the Cats showed their class piling on four goals to finish the quarter and run out 87-point victors.

A key factor in the victory was the teamwork by the Cats, an area that coach Paul Hood was pleased about after the match.

“I thought we really supported each other around the ground, our organisation was really sound and when we had it in our number around the contest, we made the most of that.

“The guys looked like they had a really good relationship with each other, which is a big focus for us with the VFL listed and AFL listed players to do that, they did a great job today," Hood said.

There were also some outstanding individual performances on the day with young draftee Dean Gore judged best afield with 24 disposals, 15 clearances, six tackles and a goal. Josh Walker also sent selectors a timely reminder of his abilities with five goals up forward.

Young duo Jarrad Jansen and Jake Kolodjashnij were both important for the Cats whilst Sam Blease showed signs he could make a real impact down at the Simonds Stadium this season.

Hamish McIntosh put his hand up for round one selection after a dominant performance with 37 hitouts, 21 disposals, nine marks and two goals. Hood was pleased with his effort and mobility on the day.

“He looked much sharper than last week to my eyes, particularly in the first half of the game, he took some marks around the ground and presented like a big fella. He had real presence. I'm sure he’d be really pleased with how he went.

“He’s had two really good runs so he’s in the best positioning competing to get picked," Hood said.

The coach was also rapt with basketball convert Michael Luxford, who was dangerous whenever near the ball and has really progressed in his two years at the club.

“He’s really developed, so really pleased. Good to see him finish his work and kick a couple of goals and set a few up, but great to see him try to play all over the ground.

“Obviously coming from a basketball background, he has lots of skills and talent and amazing movement but it’s a much bigger court, much bigger ground and its longer than 24 seconds before you get a rest, so different mindset but he’s embraced it really well," Hood said.

Geelong’s VFL side will look to extend their winning run in two weeks when they play their third practice match against Footscray at Simonds Stadium.

VFL Practice Match – Bendigo Bank Cats 19.10 (124) def. Richmond VFL 5.7 (37)
Goals: Walker 5, McIntosh 2, Blease, Gore, Cowan, Read, Jansen, Luxford, Kersten, Williams, Paliouras, Rees, Atkins, Maas
Best: Gore, Kolodjashnij, Walker, Jansen, McIntosh, Rees, Sheringham, Cunico
Reports: Nil
Injuries: Nil @ Simonds Stadium

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs