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VFL: Cats dominate Dolphins

VFL Highlights: Cats v Dolphins Check out the highlights of the Cats VFL match at Frankston Oval
Zac Smith of the Suns and Padraig Lucey of the Cats in action during the 2015 NAB Challenge Week 1 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Geelong Cats at Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville on March 01, 2015. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Padraig Lucey kicked three goals for the VFL Cats on Sunday.

Geelong’s VFL side has overcome a defiant Frankston outfit on Sunday, defeating the Dolphins 16.9 (105) to 10.8 (68), at Frankston Park.

With both the Cats and Dolphins on two wins coming in to match, it was a must win for either side as they looked to remain in finals contention. 

The Bankers played arguably their best quarter for the year in the first term on Sunday, playing an intense and relentless brand of footy.

Keeping the Dolphins to a mere four inside 50s, the Cats kicked seven goals to open up a 40-point quarter time advantage.

The Dolphins controlled the contest in the second term but an inability to convert their chances saw the Cats maintain their strong lead at the main break.

The Cats were unable to put the home side away in the third term as a goal-for-goal quarter began to unfold. 

The close contest continued into the final term as the Cats battled against an increasingly strong wind and a Frankston side that refused to lie down.

In the end, the visitors proved too strong for the Dolphins and their 37-point victory was arguably the best team performance the Cats have played in 2016. 

The Cats had 11 different goal kickers on the day and coach Shane O’Bree was impressed with his side having so many players contribute to the big win. 

“It is great to have an even spread. We have multiple players going through our forward line, which helps them kick goals,” he said. 

“We shared the load all over the ground and to have eleven goal kickers is very pleasing.”

Whilst their attack was sublime, the immense pressure by the Cats forwards was a catalyst in the big win.

“We started to get better entries and our pressure was great which resulted in a few goals from it,” O’Bree said.

Two of those eleven players, Brenton Rees and Padraig Lucey, booted three each and had quality outings.

Rees was damaging with 22 disposals and six tackles whilst Lucey fought hard in the ruck and provided a potent option up forward. 

“(Rees) can be a dangerous forward but we also like him around the midfield because of his transition, he’s a good runner for us,” O’Bree said.

“Since (Lucey) has been here, he has worked on every area he can and has played multiple positions. He is starting to get a little bit of reward for his ruck work now.”

Billie Smedts pushed his case for a senior recall with another strong performance. Smedts was a class above, finishing with a game-high 25 disposals, 17 by foot, 10 marks and six inside 50s in a strong performance. 

“Billie is working away at certain areas of his game, his attitude has been pretty good and he has played multiple roles for us which he needs,” O’Bree said.

“To get 25 possessions today in a tight contested game was pleasing for him too.”

The Bankers welcomed back Ryan Williams, who had 22 possessions, 14 of which were contested along with five tackles and a game-high 12 clearances.

Williams was in the thick of the action all day as his ball winning ability and strength around the contest proved to be an important factor in the Cats’ win.

The strongly built midfielder was given the role on Frankston midfield general Brandon Wood and kept him to 18 touches. 

“Players around him walk a bit taller when Ryan is around. He had a role today to stop Wood for them, who’s been a good player,” O’Bree said.

The VFL Cats will use this week to recover from a tough opening seven rounds with a timely bye, before gearing back up to play Sandringham the following Sunday.

 

VFL Round 7 – Bendigo Bank Cats 16.9 (105) def. Frankston 10.8 (68)

Goals: Rees 3, Lucey 3, Smedts, Cowan, Murdoch, Vardy, Luxford, Hickey, Dobson, McLachlan, Sexton

Best: Stewart, Tsitas, Smedts, Williams, Luxford, Rees

Reports: Nil

Injuries: Nil @ Frankston Park, Frankston.

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