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VFL: Casey cuts up Cats

Jarrad Jansen was terrific for the Cats
Jarrad Jansen was terrific for the Cats

Geelong’s VFL side has come up short against the Casey Scorpions at Casey Fields on Saturday, going down 6.9 (45) to 14.9 (93).

Jimmy Bartel made a successful return from a knee injury, playing majority of game time and getting through unscathed, whilst also being adjudged best afield for the visitors.

Bartel was one of a plethora of long sleeved players that took the field for the Cats as the icy conditions and strong winds made for a chilly afternoon.

With the strong breeze, Casey won the important coin toss and controlled the play to kick five first quarter goals whilst the Cats could only manage a mere two points.

The Scorpions showed in the second term that they were going to be tough to beat as they kicked three goals against the strong breeze, taking a 21-point lead into the main break.

The heavens opened in the third term and the conditions made goals scarce. The visitors only managed one goal as the Scorpions took an almost insurmountable 35-point lead into the final break.

The final term saw the home side cap off a successful day with a three-goal final term against the wind, to run out 48-point victors.

The immense pressure from the Scorpions and their ability to adjust to the conditions made it tough for the Cats from early on.

“We didn’t execute as well and Casey, starting with the wind, got them up and about but we were just outplayed in every area.” Coach Paul Hood said after the match.

“We didn’t deal with the level of pressure that Casey were able to bring and obviously the pressure we brought to them didn’t affect them too much.”

Despite the loss, Hood was impressed with certain aspects of the day, notably the performance of Bartel.

“The boys really enjoyed playing with him and he had a very good day and obviously he looked like he was a class above, as you’d expect.” he said.

Bartel didn’t miss a beat after his extended stint on the sidelines, collecting 28 possessions, 19 of which were contested.

The Brownlow medalist also racked up five marks, six tackles, seven clearances and game-high 11 rebound 50s.

Another positive was Jarrad Jansen, who pushed his case for an AFL debut with another classy performance.

The 20-year-old totaled 21 possessions, four tackles, three clearances and a goal. Hood sees Jansen’s versatility as his biggest asset, as he played through the midfield and at full-forward.

“He had a pretty good day Jarrad, he did well but we couldn’t have him everywhere.” Hood said.

“His ability to fight in the air and then compete on the ground can probably make him pretty valuable in time.”

Dean Gore made his return from a shoulder injury and was one of the Cats’ top performers with 19 touches, three tackles and six clearances.

Michael Luxford looks to have prospered from his brief stint at AFL level with another classy performance for the Bankers. Luxford finished with 15 possessions and his run and carry was valuable to the Cats throughout the day.

Up forward, Jack Hollmer’s flu game may not have been as impressive as Michael Jordan’s but the VFL stalwart continues to have an impact for the Cats.

Hood has been pleased with his continued efforts but sees the forward line as a whole, as a problem area for his side.

“We just need to get a little bit more consistency from each of our forwards. Jack’s had a long career, it’s been a good career and he’s been a really good servant of the club.” Hood said.

Whilst the loss sees the Bankers move further down the VFL table, Hood still believes his side can make an impact in the second half of the season.

“We are four and six, so we better get a wriggle on soon. We expect to get a few players back but it’s not easy to integrate those guys as they come back so we are going to have to play well and execute.” He said.

The VFL Cats take on Werribee next Saturday at Avalon Airport Oval.

VFL Round 12 – Bendigo Bank Cats 6.9 (45) def. by Casey Scorpions 14.9 (93)

Goals: Kolodjashnij, Blease, Jansen, Read, Hollmer, Maas

Best: Bartel, Jansen, Ruggles, Kolodjashnij, Horlin-Smith, Rees

Reports: Nil

Injuries: Nil @ Casey Fields, Cranbourne

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