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Cats record first win of VFL season

The Bendigo Bank Cats celebrate retaining the K Rock Cup. - Geelong Cats
The Bendigo Bank Cats celebrate retaining the K Rock Cup.

The Bendigo Bank Cats have retained the K Rock Cup with a nail biting three-point win over Werribee on Saturday.

In what was an enthralling contest from the first bounce, the Cats won 12.12 (84) to 12.9 (81).

Geelong had the ascendancy early in the match and established a strong lead by half time.

While the Cats kept their lead in tact in the third term, the home side never looked out of the game.

Werribee came out firing in the final term, drawing to within ten points midway through the quarter.

The final few minutes had the crowd on the edge of their seat and despite Werribee having all the momentum, the Cats held on by less than a kick.

The win was the Cats’ first of the season and coach Shane O’Bree believes his side deserved the reward for their effort over the first few weeks of the season.

“The players deserve that, the first two rounds they played good footy but just had some lapses,” O’Bree said.

“There are some things we learnt from last week in how to win a game, and today was how to defend a lead.”

Ryan Abbott was named best afield in the clash for the K Rock Cup, earning the Damian Drum medal.

Abbott was instrumental in the win, racking up 16 disposals, five clearances and 36 hitouts.

“(Abbott’s) ruck craft was really good and around the ground he had a real presence with his follow up work,” O’Bree said.

“He looked really explosive away from the contest, which we know he can do really well.”

Abbott formed a great tandem with Darcy Fort, who kicked three goals from 15 touches to go with 16 hitouts.

“Darcy Fort, in his first year in the program, just keeps finding a way to clunk them and kick goals for us,” O’Bree said.

“He is really dangerous as a forward and not just a ruckman.”

Zach Tuohy made a successful return from injury, totalling 14 touches in limited game time.

Tuohy was the Cats’ most efficient ball user and showed flashes of his electrifying pace across half back.

“Having Zach Tuohy in our team, we’d take that every week to have one of the AFL’s elite players play with our young group.”

“I thought he was really solid, his positioning was really good and when he got the ball in his hands, he looked composed.

Tuohy will hope to get back into the AFL side as soon as possible, but he will have some competition, with a host of young Cats pushing for an AFL recall.

Leading that pack is James Parsons, who racked up 26 disposals and eight clearances in a strong showing.

“Parso has had a terrific three weeks, he should gain a lot of confidence that he’s starting to get to the stage where he is looking too good for VFL,” O’Bree said.

“He looks confident at VFL level, whatever scenario he is thrown into.”

Zach Guthrie (19 disposals) and Quinton Narkle (18 disposals) were also important in the tight win.

The VFL Cats will rest up with a bye next week before a huge round five clash with Essendon.

VFL Round Three
Bendigo Bank Cats 12.12 (84) def. Werribee 12.9 (81)
Goals: Fort 3, Mclachlan, L.Smith 2, Jarvis, Narkle, Kennerley, Tarca, Capiron
Best: Abbott, Z. Guthrie, Fort, Parsons, Narkle, Gow
Reports: Nil
Injuries: Nil @ Avalon Airport Oval

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