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VFLW: Cats fade late to Hawks

Rocky Cranston impressed in the contest against the Hawks - Geelong Cats
Rocky Cranston impressed in the contest against the Hawks

Geelong’s VFLW side has lost its final match of the home-and-away season, with Hawthorn 6.5 (41) defeating the Cats 3.7 (25) at Box Hill on Saturday afternoon.

It was a fast and competitive start between the two sides who were both playing for a top-two finish, with scores equal at the first break.

But the Hawks capitalised on their chances in the second quarter and three consecutive goals did the damage needed on the scoreboard.

Geelong continued to contest, with Kate Darby taking an impressive contested mark in the goal square and kicking a much needed goal just before halftime.

The Cats had the ball locked in their forward 50 for much of the third quarter but couldn’t make the most of their opportunities.

The final 16 point loss means that Geelong will finish the season placed fourth on the ladder, and are set to face the Northern Territory Thunder in an elimination final.

Geelong VFLW coach Paul Hood said that it was Hawthorn’s efficiency with the ball that was the major reason for his side’s loss.

“Hawthorn were just that little bit more efficient going inside 50 today and they took their chances, which allowed them to set up the game on their terms which was tough for us to combat,” he said.

“We did have parts of the game where we acquitted ourselves really well and certainly we were pleased with those parts, and we’ll learn a lot from today.”

Rocky Cranston was yet again playing at her best.

“We were really impressed with Richelle Cranston today. She got us going and was really good in the contest, getting in and under and winning some contested ball which was terrific,” Hood said.

Hood was also pleased with the games of Geelong’s other more experienced players.

“Anna Teague did a great job down back as well, she defended hard and set up some attack for us too.

“Kate Darby had some really good moments again in the ruck, and helped get the game back on our terms which was pleasing.

“Bec Goring defended well, it was really hard for Hawthorn to score. The defence did well, we just need to engineer and take a few more chances ourselves.”

Geelong now have a bye before their elimination final against the NT Thunder, which Hood said will allow his side to refine specific areas of their game.

“We’ll work really hard on the way we move the ball in training over the next couple of weeks, with some really good attention to detail and how we set up around the ground,” he said.

“I think just the precision of our ball use and a little bit of composure, just understanding when it’s time in the game to go fast and when it’s time to go slow.

“When we played the NT earlier in the season it was actually a bit similar to today, where we had just about as many scoring shots but the opposition were just more efficient.

Hood is confident that this loss against another team contending for the VFLW premiership will help the Cats with their preparation heading into the finals series.

“We’ve had a couple of solid wins in a row now and it was a big challenge coming here against a team that’s been in really good form,” he said.

“I think that’ll be great practice for us seeing the NT Thunder in the first final.”

VFL Women’s Round 16
Geelong Cats 3.7 (25) defeated by Hawthorn Hawks
Goals: Clifford, Darby, Keryk
Best: Cranston, Teague, Coventry, Goring, Keryk, Darby
Injuries: Burchell (Chest)
Reports: Nil
@ Box Hill City Oval

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