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VFL: Cats beaten by Tigers

VFL Highlights: Cats v Tigers Watch the highlights from the Cats clash with the Tigers at Punt Road
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: George Horlin-Smith of the Cats runs with the ball 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)
George Horlin-Smith was among the Cats' best players
We didn’t embrace the contest, coughed the ball up, didn’t set up properly, didn’t play as a team and got hurt and that was the end of the game really.
VFL Cats coach Shane O'Bree

Geelong’s VFL side suffered a disappointing loss on Sunday, falling to Richmond 6.9 (45) to 11.16 (82).

After other results fell their way in round 19, the Cats came into the clash against the Tigers with an opportunity to leap into the top four for the first time in 2016.

The first quarter saw the Cats come out firing, kicking the opening three goals of the match but that early form was erased with a scoreless second term.

The Tigers took a commanding lead into half time and the Cats never challenged after the break, with the Tigers ultimately running out 37-point victors.

Cats coach Shane O’Bree was disappointed with the result, especially with how his team fared after the first term.

“The second quarter was woeful, we got beaten around the contest again, exactly what Collingwood did to us a few weeks ago,” O’Bree said.

“We didn’t embrace the contest, coughed the ball up, didn’t set up properly, didn’t play as a team and got hurt and that was the end of the game really.”

The coach believes his side will need to improve greatly if they are to challenge sides in September.

“When the pressure comes on against the good teams in finals-like football, we crumble a bit so a few of the boys will have to get better in that area,” O’Bree said.

Tigers’ ruckman Ivan Maric was dominant in the ruck as the Cats were without regular ruckman Padraig Lucey but O’Bree lauded the efforts of Wylie Buzza (13 hitouts) and Mitch Clark (14 hitouts).

“I don’t think the ruck situation was the problem, I thought (Buzza) got good exposure against Ivan and Clark a fair bit as well tonight,” O’Bree said.

“I just thought our effort around the contest and our pressure was poor.”

George Horlin-Smith battled hard in the loss as the midfielder totalled 19 possessions and a game-high 11 tackles.

Ben Raidme also fought hard in the loss and compiled his best performance since returning to the side.

The VFL stalwart collected 26 possessions and eight marks and was the Cats’ best player in the loss.

“Raids has been back for two games in a row and he has played pretty well,” O’Bree said.

“He is an experienced VFL player and what we are getting from him at the moment is pleasing.”

The Bankers will look to get back on the winners list next week when they face Casey.

VFL Round 19 – Bendigo Bank Cats 6.9 (45) def. by Richmond Tigers 11.16 (82)

Goals: Cunico 2, Lang, Murdoch, House, Luxford

Best: Raidme, Horlin-Smth, Atkins, Cornell, Floyd, Stewart

Injuries: Bews (concussion)

Reports: Nil

@ Punt Road Oval, Richmond.

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