Geelong’s VFLW team has recorded its fourth consecutive victory, defeating a strong Southern Saints side in blustery and wet conditions at Deakin University on Saturday afternoon.
The Cats were kicking with a strong wind in the final quarter and made the most of their opportunities despite heavy rain, recording a 3.7 (25) to 2.4 (16) victory.
Breanna Beckley got the home side off to a perfect start, kicking the first goal of the game in the opening two minutes.
Geelong continued to display strong tackling pressure in the second quarter and kept the Southern Saints scoreless, opening up a narrow 8 point lead at half-time.
The Southern Saints used the wind to their advantage in the third quarter, and the Cats went into the final break trailing by one point.
The skies opened in the final term but the downpour failed to deter the Cats, as they managed to lock the ball in their forward 50 for much of the quarter. Madisen Maguire was rewarded with a free kick for a brilliant tackle in front of goals and kicked the sealer for Geelong, ensuring her side’s win against the second placed Saints.
Geelong VFLW coach Natalie Wood credited her side’s continued ability to adapt to different challenges in their victory.
“The day brought some extra challenges, being windy and also wet in that last quarter,” she said.
“So the way our group is really standing up and acknowledging whatever the challenge is, and finding ways to embrace that challenge and how to work through it, whilst also not going away from their game plan is something that we keep working with them on.
“(It’s) something that I feel they’re growing in their maturity, and their unity in the way they’re linking up and playing as a team.”
AFLW players Rebecca Webster and Julia Crockett-Grills both had standout performances for the Cats.
“We knew we had to be really good right from the start and we knew we had to be really good around the ball if we were any chance of being able to take the Saints’ game plan away from them,” Wood said.
“We had to match them and try and beat them in the contest, and that scene was set by Becky Webster right from the start and Jules Crockett-Grills in particular as well.
“They set the scene with really driving their legs through the contest to get us some entries forward.”
Wood was also pleased with the Cats’ ability to limit the Southern Saints’ entries into their forward 50 in the third quarter, when the visitors were kicking with a strong breeze.
“For us as coaches that really showed our groups’ ability and that maturity,” she said.
“To hear what we’re saying is one thing, and then having the faith to go out and attempt it and then the ability to be able to do it.
“The girls are starting to get some reward.”
The Cats have a bye next weekend before facing the Darebin Falcons, where they will look to continue their winning streak.
VFL Women’s Round 10
Geelong Cats 3.7 (25) defeated Southern Saints 2.4 (16)
Goals: Maguire 2, Beckley
Best: Webster, Crockett-Grills, Cranston, McDonald, D. Taylor, Maguire
@ Deakin University