Chloe Leonard smothers the ball against Collingwood in Round 13 of the 2023 rebel VFLW season. Photo: Arj Giese

On a chilly Sunday at the AIA Centre the Cats fought hard against Collingwood, but struggled to score majors, losing 0.3 (3) 5.13 (43).

Despite falling to the Magpies, the Cats had some positive moments. Gabbi Featherston was impressive in the centre with six tackles and strong marking ability on display. Tackling machine Sachi DeGiacomi was solid with seven tackles.

Emily Worpel topped the disposals with 24 and Charlotte Simpson gathered 17 after returning from a starring role in the Under All-Stars game against the AFLW Academy last weekend.

Geelong VFLW senior coach Elise Coventry said a slow start in the first half made the going tough for the Cats.

“There were wet conditions out there, but unfortunately for the first half of today we were second to the footy a lot of the time, so we’d compete in the contest which gave Collingwood a lot of opportunity forward,” Coventry said.

“We brought it back a little bit, but not enough and Collingwood was definitely the strong side.”

Coventry said the team will be striving for a faster approach to the contest when they take on Williamstown in the final round of the home and away season, with a spot in the finals on the line for the Cats.

Mia Fuller breaks clear with the ball against Collingwood in Round 13 of the 2023 rebel VFLW season. Photo: Arj Giese

“Just to come in with some intensity to want the footy, hunt the footy and then once we get the footy, we know we play some really good controlled footy on the back of that,” she said.

Coventry said that some of her standouts were Mia Fuller, Chloe Leonard and Sarah Perrott in defence, as well as Simpson, Featherston and Emily across the midfield.

“Unfortunately for us today it was probably our defensive group who were under a lot of pressure, but they stood up quite well,” Coventry said.

“We really liked what Mia Fuller’s been doing behind the ball: it’s a new position for her and she’s able to win a lot of the footy.

“Chloe Leonard stood up played in some really important contests early, Sarah Perott was the same. So our defenders were pretty solid, we had a couple of others through the mid-field like ‘Simmo’, Ramsay and ‘Feathers’, who helped us get a bit of ball movement forward, but unfortunately it was probably more of Collingwood’s day today.”

Hannah Burchell in action for Geelong against Collingwood in Round 13 of the 2023 rebel VFLW season. Photo: Arj Giese

In good news for the Cats, Hannah Burchell made a return to the field for the first time since injuring her ACL while playing for Richmond in February last year, while Liv Cicolini returned after missing the past fortnight through injury.

“So good to see Hannah back out there,” Coventry said.

“She took a heavy knock to the back, but what was really pleasing about that is that she kept going through that. So to come back from a severe injury and play through another injury I think shows the character of Hannah and how tough she is.

“'Cico' got back from her hammy. She warmed into the game and gave us a few opportunities forward at times, so hopefully if we get another game into her, we can get some consistent footy out of her.”

In the final round of the VFLW home and away season, Geelong will be on the road again to take on Williamstown. First bounce is at 10am on Saturday.

VFLW Round 13 - Collingwood v Geelong

Collingwood   1.0   3.9   4.10   5.13 (43)
Geelong          0.1   0.1    0.3      0.3 (3)