Main content

VFL: Cats claim opener

VFL Highlights: Gee v Wer (R1) All the best bits from the Cats win over Werribee in round one of the VFL

Geelong’s VFL side has held off a persistent Werribee Tigers outfit to kick off their 2015 season at Simonds Stadium on Friday night. The Cats were challenged all night but finished strongly to win 12.12 (84) to Werribee’s 10.6 (66).  The win also held extra significance with the K-Rock Cup returning back into the Cats trophy cabinet.

The first quarter saw Geelong come out firing with an intense tackling pressure in the greasy conditions. The key defensive duo of Jared Rivers and Jake Kolodjashnij started well, resulting in a one-goal lead at the first break.

The rain increased and it was evident early in the second term that the rest of the contest wouldn’t be much of a spectacle. The Tigers handled the conditions well with three goals for the term whilst the Bankers managed two, causing a stalemate scoreline at the main break.

The third quarter was a scrappy affair for the first ten minutes until a flourish of goals came late in the term, including a brace by Shane Kersten in the final two minutes, giving the Cats a nine-point buffer at three quarter time.

The heavens opened to a greater extent in the final quarter and the ball resembled a large yellow bar of soap. The Cats managed to hold on with two final quarter goals and run out 18-point victors.

Cats’ coach Paul Hood was impressed with the endeavor of the players to hold off a strong side like Werribee and take the four points in the first match of the season.

“(Werribee) caused us some headaches. Even though we looked good down back and up forward, through the midfield their guys really kept them in it.” Hood said.

“It was a tough task for us, but I think weight of numbers and our guys really contesting hard all night, won out in the end. Which was terrific.”

For the Cats, young Tom Read caused the damage on the scoreboard, with three goals in his debut in the hoops. In conditions not suited for big men, Read hit the contest hard and along with Shane Kersten, proved a handful for the Tigers’ defence.

“Regardless of whatever size he is, to take his chances like that. Its fantastic for Tommy, so I’m really pleased for him.” Hood said.

“He’s worked really hard in the offseason and deserves to get some success, so a great start for him.”

Read was one of numerous Cats to debut on the night for the VFL side which made for a great rendition of the team song after the game.

“We had quite a few first gamers tonight, I think there was more inside the circle than outside. Great for those guys to remember getting four points in their first run.” Hood said.

Matt Farrelly was judged best afield in the win after a strong four quarter performance. Cats draftee Dean Gore also impressed the coaching staff with 24 touches and nine tackles, in a bid to earn his first senior game.

“I think the way Dean plays, is the way Geelong footy club would like Dean to play, so that’s really good.

“He’s doing everything he can, a tremendous worker off the track and on the track. He’s been a model first year player so far.” Hood said.

Jake Kolodjashnij was also a standout for the Cats, beating his direct opponent all night and also managing to kick two goals when attacking.

“He defended really well. But then to attack and kick two goals from a defender, two really good goals, were very important in the context of a tight game.” Hood said.

The Cats have a bye in round two, which Hood sees as both a positive and a negative.

“It is a little bit disappointing that we can’t build on the win, but when you think about how brutal the game was tonight, its not a bad time to have a week off after that.” Hood said.

VFL R1 - Bendigo Bank Cats 12.12.84 def Werribee Tigers 10.6.66
Goals: Kersten, Read 3, Kolodjashnij 2, Luxford, Close, Ruggles, McFarlane
Best: Farrelly, Kolodjashnij, Gore, Kersten, Ruggles, Read,
Reports: Nil
Injuries: Nil
Crowd: 650 @ Simonds

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