GEELONG’s reserves players have gone head-to-head with their Magpie counterparts in periods of hotly contested match simulation at the GWS Giants training base.
No official score was kept on the afternoon with both sides fielding less than full sides and coaches taking on the roles of umpires and ‘letting the boys play’.
The Cats side had the ascendancy for a large portion of the afternoon before a fast-finishing Collingwood left both sides with a claim to match honours.
Geelong assistant coach Nigel Lappin was pleased with what he saw.
“We were really pleased with most of our players, certainly with how they acquitted themselves but also the type of footy they’re all trying to play,” he said.
“It was a really willing game, it was really physical and because of that a lot of the players were tired at the backend of the game.”
Young Cat Jordan Clark repeatedly showed off his sharp ball use and daring dash from half-back to be among the game’s best players and push his case for selection.
“We got a lot of run and dash from Jordy Clark which is what you expect from him,” Lappin said.
Some familiar names to the Cats’ weekly emergencies continued their good form, with Lappin praising their efforts on the afternoon.
“James Parsons finished the game really strongly, Zach Guthrie is playing really well down back.”
“The midfielders were all really solid, Charlie Constable and Lachie Fogarty are doing a really good job,” he says.
The Cats’ midfield had its work cut out for it with no recognised ruckman taking the field as Rhys Stanley continues his rehab from an MCL injury and Darcy Fort taking the field against Brisbane last night.
First round recruit Sam De Koning and key defender Blake Schlensog performed admirably in place of the absent rucks against the experienced Darcy Cameron and 200cm Max Lynch.
Nakia Cockatoo completed his first full game-time hit-out, impressing with two classy goals and providing plenty of inside grunt through the midfield.
"He was fantastic, his contest work was really good, he’s building his footy fitness which is really important. Hopefully he’s available for us over the next month."
Jack Steven completed limited game time, with a low load weekend planned for the new Cat after having played only the seven games in 2019.
“He’s really classy when he’s got the ball in hand. He’s really clever and a very good decision maker,” Lappin said.
“We wanted to give Jack a slightly lighter weekend, we’ve achieved that he’s got through. He’ll be looking forward to next weekend.”
The Cats’ young forward line also impressed, with agile tall Nathan Kreuger spearheading the attack to lead the goalkickers with three majors.
Last year’s draft smokey Francis Evans continued to impress, kicking another two goals and showing plenty of life inside the forward arc.
“I thought Francis Evans did a really good job as a forward. He’s really pleasing to watch, he’s good in a contest, he finishes well when he gets his opportunities,” Lappin said.