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VFL: Cats cook Roosters

VFL Highlights: Cats v Roosters Check out the highlights of the Cats VFL match at Eureka Stadium

A blistering start has seen Geelong’s VFL side outclass a lacklustre North Ballarat outfit, defeating the Roosters 16.15 (111) to 5.7 (37), at Eureka Stadium on Friday night.

Following their (coincidental) 74-point victory over North Ballarat during the preseason, the Cats went into the match full of confidence against the new-look standalone Roosters.

The superiority of the visitors was evident from the outset as they came out blazing in the first term, kicking nine goals and dominating statistically as the Roosters were held to a mere four inside 50s.

Tom Atkins was at his best in the first term, racking up nine disposals, seven tackles and a goal.

The Cats were unable to continue their domination early in the second term, with the Roosters kicking the first two goals of the quarter.

The Roosters got on top in contested ball and were on the receiving end of some ill-disciplined free kicks by the young VFL Cats. This saw the Bankers lead dwindle to 44 points at the main break.

The home side struggled in the second half, both with and against the wind, managing a solitary goal over the final two quarters as the Cats ran out 74-point victors.

“It was a big focus to have a good start and I was pleased with the boys. Even though we were kicking with the wind, they took advantage of it and set the game up,” O’Bree said.

The Cats finished with 13 individual goal kickers, with Cameron Tudor and Zac Bates kicking two each.

“We had a lot of guys play through the forward role, its good that they share the load. Its an area of our game that we can still work on, our forward fifty entries and making the most of what we get,” O’Bree said.

Billie Smedts made his return to football following a shoulder reconstruction in early January, an injury which was expected to sideline him for at least four months.

Smedts was impressive playing off half-back, finishing with 18 disposals and five clearances.

“Billie was pretty good. He got crunched a couple of times, which is probably what he needs for his shoulder to keep confident.

“I thought he got better as the game went on, held his marks, got involved in attack,” O’Bree said.

“We just wanted him to bring the enthusiasm tonight, playing his first game for the year and with what he has had with his shoulders, just to enjoy the game and he did that.”

Discipline proved to be the Bankers’ biggest issue as they conceded two goals from 50m penalties and lost the free kick count, a trend that plagued the Cats during the preseason.

“It has been a common theme with our boys. They’ve just got to pick the right time when to let off steam and when not to,” O’Bree said.

“I’d prefer them to lead their actions with a tackle or a block for a team mate, instead of retaliating or abusing the umpire. It is going to cost us dearly in the long run if we keep doing it.”

Despite controlling the ball for the majority of the game, the Cats won the tackle count convincingly, with Tom Atkins leading the way with 13 of his own.

“Tommy was really good, he has been in the VFL system for a few years now and you can see he is reaping the rewards. He looks confident and is one of our leaders,” O’Bree said.

The Bankers will return to Simonds Stadium next Sunday for their round four clash with Coburg, kicking off at 1pm.

VFL Round Three – Bendigo Bank Cats 16.15 (111) def. North Ballarat Roosters 5.7 (37)

Goals: Bates 2, Tudor 2, Cornell, Murdoch, Horlin-Smith, Parsons, Luxford, Lucey, Atkins, McLachlan, Rees, Haintz, Stewart, Hickey

Best: Atkins, Stewart, Cornell, Horlin-Smith, Tsitas, Lucey

Reports: Nil

Inuries: Nil @ Eureka Stadium

 

 

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