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VFL Cats beaten by Port

Action from the clash between the VFL Cats and Port Melbourne (Credit: Arj Giese)

Geelong’s VFL side has gone down to an efficient Port Melbourne on Saturday, falling to the Borough 6.8 (44) to 13.18 (96).

The Cats played catch-up football all day and could never trim the margin back after a poor first term.

The visitors came out of the blocks firing, their five unanswered goals put the Cats on the back foot at quarter time.

Geelong’s woes continued in the second term with turnovers proving costly, allowing the Borough to open up a 38-point half time lead.

The Cats started strongly in the third term but their impressive play was soured by a significant head injury suffered by Cats’ youngster Campbell Floyd.

Despite the Cats slowing the visitors’ scoring in the final two quarters, they were unable to close the gap between the sides, ultimately falling by 52 points.

It was a poor performance by Shane O’Bree’s side, but one they can learn from according to the Geelong coach.

“It was a good reality check against a quality opposition in Port,” O’Bree said.

“We’ve continually got to teach these guys, a lot of young players, with their method and being able to do it for the whole game.”

Whilst the overall result was disappointing, there were numerous positives to take out of the match.

Scott Selwood made his return from a foot injury and got through the match unscathed.

Selwood finished with 23 disposals, four clearances and four tackles in limited game time.

“(Selwood) got a bit of the ball, which was tough going as a midfielder, I think Scooter got what he needed out of today’s game,” O’Bree said.

“We will just keep adding layers to his game over time.”

Jack Henry played his first match since the JLT Community Series and showed promise playing across half forward.

The Cats rookie kicked a goal from eight touches and looks to be a dangerous player according to his coach.

“Jack is very lively, he’s got a bit of X-factor about him,” O’Bree said.

“We have just got to get as many games into Jack as possible and expose him to different things that are at a high level.”

After an inconsistent start to the year, Ryan Gardner returned to form as a quality lockdown defender on Saturday, shutting down key forward Jordan Lisle.

The Port Melbourne spearhead kicked seven goals in round one but was kept goalless by Gardner in a strong showing by the young Cat.

Jed Bews put his hand up for AFL selection, compiling a consistent game switching between forward and back.

Bews was named best on ground for the Cats after finishing with 24 possessions, 14 of which were contested, along with four tackles.

“I thought (Bews) was one of our better players, consistent on the day, tried to use the ball effectively and tried to do what he needed to do,” O’Bree said.

Rhys Stanley also pushed his case for a senior recall, dominating in the ruck whilst having a strong impact around the ground.

Stanley finished with 27 hitouts, 20 disposals and six marks to be amongst the Cats’ best.

Geelong’s VFL contingent also provided a number of contributors with the evergreen Tom Atkins, Alex Hickey and Sam McLachlan performing admirably.

The VFL Cats will return to Simonds Stadium next week and look to get back on track in their round three clash with Casey. 

VFL Round 2 – Bendigo Bank Cats 6.8 (44) def. by Port Melbourne 13.18 (96)

Goals: Buzza, Hayball, Henry, Jones, Reid, Atkins

Best: Bews, Edwards, Atkins, McLachlan, Stanley, O'Connor

Reports: W. Buzza (Striking)

Injuries: Floyd (Concussion)

@ Simonds Stadium

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