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VFL: Menzel stars in loss to Box Hill

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02:  Daniel Menzel of Geelong in action during the round 16 VFL match between Frankston and Geelong at Frankston Oval on August 2, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Daniel Menzel again fired for the Cats

Geelong’s VFL side have suffered defeat against a strong Box Hill outfit, going down convincingly, 7.11(71) to the Hawks’ 19.7 (121).
The Cats kicked the first of the term through Daniel Menzel but the excitement was short lived as the Hawks piled on four goals in succession. The Cats had majority of the ball early on but were unable to convert in front of goal.
The second term saw the Cats claw back into the contest with four goals to two. The Cats were linking up well and went into the main break full of confidence and a mere two-points down.
Cameron Delaney was put on ice at half time whilst Kieran Paliouras suffered a hamstring injury, leaving the home side with only three rotations. The Hawks took advantage of the weary Cats kicking six goals in the third term to take a 23-point lead into the final break.
Box Hill rode their momentum into the final term and continued their onslaught on the Cats, who seemingly ran out of legs. The Hawks kicked seven final quarter goals to run out 50-point victors.
For the visitors, Sam Grimley wreaked havoc up forward, kicking six goals, whilst Shem Tatupu and Chris Jones finished with four each.
Coach Paul Hood saw the Hawks’ efficiency as being a major factor in their ability to run away with the game in the last quarter.
“We got a lesson in how to use the ball off Box Hill, we probably gave them three goals off turnovers at the start of the last quarter,” he said.
“Up until then, we’d been really good, we had more inside 50s and more scoring shots at three quarter time, so pretty positive about how the game was played out.”
Despite the lopsided result, the biggest positive to come out of the day was the return of Cam Delaney.
Delaney played his first game for the Cats and collected 10 possessions and four marks in a half of football.
“He was really good, he looked strong and he made good decisions and used the ball pretty well for the most part. A really good comeback performance from Cam,” Hood said.
Two other talls, Dawson Simpson and Nathan Vardy, gave the Cats first use out of the middle all day, winning 41 and 18 hitouts, respectively.
Both ruckmen played a big role in the Cats' ability to win the inside 50s and clearance counts.
Daniel Menzel was once again prolific as he edges closer to an AFL return. Menzel was adjudged best afield for the Cats, finishing with 22 touches, 10 clearances and three goals.
“He did a lot of stuff that looked really good today. His three goals were great finishes and he fought really well around the ball,” Hood said.
AFL Draft hopeful Rhys Mathieson impressed in his VFL debut. Mathieson finished with 17 disposals, four tackles and a game-high 10 clearances.
“He really takes the game on, has a go and throws himself around which is terrific.
“He had a really good go and it was a great first step from Rhys on hopefully what is a good career for him in footy,” Hood said.
Dean Gore had a game-high 27 disposals and also finished with four marks and six tackles as he continues to showcase his progression.
Despite Gore proving himself to be a ball magnet, Hood is most impressed with Gore’s effort and team-first approach to the game.
“What is fantastic is his endeavor and his willingness to help his team and be a part of it. He’s a player that’s really working hard to play the Geelong way,” Hood said.
The VFL Cats travel to Sandringham next Sunday to take on the Zebras in their final away game of the season.

Geelong VFL 10.11 71

Def by.

Box Hill Hawks 19.7 121

Goals: Menzel 3, Haintz 2, Gore, Luxford, Maas, Bates, Jansen

Best: Menzel, Luxford, Smedts, Gore, Burchell, Simpson

Reports: Nil

Injuries: Paliouras (hamstring), Jansen (corked quad)

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