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VFL: Cats record confidence boosting win

Zac Smith was named best afield after recording team-high 21 disposals and six clearances. - Geelong Cats
Zac Smith was named best afield after recording team-high 21 disposals and six clearances.
Really important for the confidence of the group, we deserved to win that game. I thought we had massive control of the game in certain phases.
Shane O'Bree - Geelong VFL Coach

Geelong’s VFL side has taken the first step in turning their season around, defeating Collingwood by seven points on Sunday.

In what was an arm wrestle of a contest, the Cats took their chances when it mattered in the 10.8 (68) to 9.7 (61) win.

The match started out as a low scoring affair with both sides putting an emphasis on tackling and defensive intensity in the first quarter.

While the scoring lifted in the second term, the margin never got beyond two goals, with the Magpies taking a slender lead into half time.

The Cats were able to play the game on their terms in the third quarter, establishing a three-goal lead heading into the final stanza.

A late charge from the Magpies gave the home crowd a scare but the Cats were ultimately able to hold on for a seven-point victory.

The win was the Cats’ second of the season and an important one to close the gap on the VFL’s top eight.

The victory was also significant to give the young VFL side confidence, according to Cats coach Shane O’Bree.

“Really important for the confidence of the group, we deserved to win that game. I thought we had massive control of the game in certain phases,” O’Bree said.

“It has been good to fight (games) out until the end and we will keep learning from how to control those scenarios.”

There were plenty of positives to take out of the win with impressive performances coming from players all over the ground.

Wylie Buzza was everywhere up forward, kicking five goals while having a hand in numerous others.

“Today (Buzza) played his first full game for a while and he was dominant in the air and created a contest,” O’Bree said.

“He is the most experienced player in our forward line, he should be dominating most VFL games as a key forward.”

Fellow big man Zac Smith capitalised on the opportunity to be the Cats’ number one option in the middle, totalling 48 hitouts.

Smith also racked up a team-high 21 disposals and six clearances in a best afield performance.

Lachie Fogarty continued his remarkable form since returning to football, totalling 15 tackles and 13 disposals.

Scott Selwood was also prominent in the tackle count, racking up 11 playing out his first full game since a hamstring injury.

“We knew Collingwood were a high possession handball team, our mids, the way they pressured, for Scooter and Fogarty to get double figure tackle numbers, they set the scene for us,” O’Bree said.

Zach Guthrie (17 disposals, four marks) and James Parsons (18 disposals, six score involvements) both continued their solid seasons at VFL level.

The duo, along with the likes of Sam Simpson and Jamaine Jones, are starting to play a more consistent brand of football and are continually in the conversation for an AFL recall.

Of the VFL listed players, Cal Mitchell was rock solid down back while Dan Capiron provided a strong target up forward, kicking two goals.

The Cats will look to continue their winning form next Saturday when they take on Coburg at GMHBA Stadium.


VFL Round 7
Bendigo Bank Cats 10.8 (68) def. Collingwood 9.7 (61)
Goals: Buzza 5, Capiron 2, Simpson, Jones, B.Reid
Best: Z.Smith, Buzza, Selwood, Mitchell, Z. Guthrie, Parsons
Reports: Nil
Injuries: Nil @ GMHBA Stadium

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