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VFL: Cats ruthless in emphatic win

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Sam Menegola of the Cats kicks the ball for a NAB supergoal during the 2016 NAB Challenge match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on February 26, 2016. (Photo by Michael Dodge/AFL Media)
Sam Menegola collected 48 disposals in Saturday's win.

Geelong’s VFL side has claimed a fourth consecutive victory on Saturday, thumping Werribee 25.16 (166) to 8.7 (55) at Simonds Stadium.

Despite a gulf in ladder position, the evenness of the two sides was on show in the first term as they battled for early ascendancy. 

Strong defensive pressure and accuracy in front of goal saw the Cats take the advantage and lead by eight points at the first break.

No one could have predicted what unfolded in the second term with the Bankers kicking eight goals whilst keeping the Tigers scoreless.

The domination by the home side continued in the third term as the Cats ruthlessly extended their lead to 106 points by the final change.

The foot was taken off the pedal in the final term as the Bankers allowed the opposition to kick five goals, but five majors of their own resulted in a whopping 111-point victory.

The emphatic win sees the Cats hold their spot in the top eight for another week as they push for a finals birth.

There were many Cats who were at the top of their game in the big victory, notably Sam Menegola, who amassed an incredible 48 disposals.

Menegola was best afield as he racked up 11 clearances, nine inside 50s, five marks and two goals to go with his plethora of possessions. 

“He has a lot of attributes that can help the senior team and it is just about him now continuing to play the way he did today and he will get his opportunity,” Cats coach Shane O’Bree said after the match. 

“Sam is a good inside mid, he is very good around the contest and his transition running is his strength as he can run all day.” 

The Cats welcomed back Cameron Delaney for his first match of 2016 but it was a day to forget for the former North Melbourne defender as he suffered a concussion early in the match.

The 24-year old left the field in the second term following a heavy knock and did not return but O’Bree saw numerous positives in his return game. 

“The good thing is that (Delaney) is not seriously injured, he is very chirpy still and thinks he will be right for next week.

“It gave him a taste and it has been a while so hopefully he pulls up alright and gets another opportunity next week.” 

Darcy Lang also returned to the VFL side and was amongst the best players as he looks for a senior recall.

Lang totalled 34 possessions, 11 clearances, six marks, four tackles and was dangerous up forward with four goals.

“We used (Lang) through the midfield today and as a high half forward and his attitude has been fantastic,” O’Bree said.

“He is a good kid, has a good head on his shoulders and is a leader for us so we will just keep supporting him and working with him to get him back in there.”

Stephen Wells’ recent draft prowess was on display as Menegola along with Wylie Buzza, Ryan Gardner and Matthew Hayball all played big roles in the win.

Hayball was the most prolific around goal with four majors as he compiled arguably the best game of his short VFL career.

“He is going really well, he has come along way since he first started playing,” O’Bree said. 

“It is just about getting his body up to VFL demands first but today he showed what he is capable of so we just need to keep building him.” 

The Cats will look to continue their winning streak next week when they take on Essendon at Simonds Stadium.

VFL Round 15 – Bendigo Bank Cats 25.16 (165) def. Werribee Tigers 8.7 (55)

Goals: Hayball 4, Lang 4, Atkins 3, Menegola 2, Luxford 2, Horlin-Smith 2, Vardy 2, Parsons, McLachlan, Lucey, Clark, Buzza, Spiteri

Best: Menegola, Lang, McLachlan, Hayball, Parsons, Atkins

Injuries: Delaney (concussion), Cornell (foot sprain)

Reports: Nil @ Simonds Stadium, Geelong.

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