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VFL: Murdoch stars for new-look Cats

Jordan Murdoch was outstanding for the VFL Cats on Sunday - Geelong Cats,Jordan Murdoch
Jordan Murdoch was outstanding for the VFL Cats on Sunday

Geelong’s VFL side has suffered a heavy defeat in their first practice match on Sunday, falling to a strong Essendon outfit, 6.9 (45) to 14.10 (94).

A goalless third term by the Cats proved to be the difference despite showing some good signs early in the match. 

In the opening term, the Cats battled against a slight breeze and found themselves down by 21 points at the first change.

A hot start to the second term by the Bombers saw their lead jump out to more than six goals before the Cats kicked into gear.

Four consecutive goals to finish off the first half allowed the Cats to trim the lead back to 13 points.

However, the half time break proved to halt the Cats’ momentum as they played a passive brand of football in the third term and failed to score.

Despite kicking to the scoring end in the final term, Geelong failed to register a major as the Bombers ran out 49-point victors.

Whilst the final result was not ideal, 30 different players were able to suit up for the Cats and get some match fitness, a big positive for Cats coach Shane O’Bree.

“I think the squad we had today, there were a fair few young guys playing their first ever VFL game and probably a dozen guys playing their first ever Geelong VFL game,” O’Bree said.

Local Colac products Campbell Floyd, Luke Hillman and Zach Zdybel were serviceable in front of their home crowd with Floyd amongst the Cats’ best.

Also named in the best players was AFL listed duo Jordan Murdoch and Jack Henry, both highlighting their ambitions to play at the top level.

“I thought Jack Henry was really good in his ability to go back and forward,” O’Bree said.

“He just impacted both in the air and on the ground and his intensity and intent all day was really good.

“Jordan Murdoch’s mindset and leadership today really showed and his impact around the contest was really hard at the ball.”

Former Crow Sam Siggins played only the second half but performed strongly in a variety of roles for the Cats.

The utility played at both ends and contested numerous ruck contests around the ground.

Other fresh faces, Mitch Diamond and Lachlan Noble, both impressed in their first games in the hoops.

Ruckman Ryan Abbott performed admirably and had the better of Essendon talls Kieran Strachan and Sam Draper for most of the afternoon. 

Reigning best and fairest James Tsitas followed on from his career year in 2017 with a strong performance in the midfield. 

Tsitas played only the first half but led the side in possessions up until half time.

Ben Reid was also one of the Cats’ better players, using his run off half back to break lines and send the ball forward.

The VFL Cats will have a short turnaround as they return to GMHBA Stadium to take on Werribee on Friday night.

 

VFL Practice Match – Geelong 6.9 (45) def. by Essendon 14.10 (94)
Goals: F. House, Abbott, Buzza, Noble, Dobson, Murdoch
Best: Murdoch, Henry, Abbott, Noble, Reid, Floyd

Reports: Nil

Injuries: Lever (shoulder) @ Central Reserve, Colac

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