K rock Football

Buzza puts his hand up

Wylie Buzza in action in Geelong’s VFL loss to Richmond on Saturday. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

WYLIE Buzza put his hand up as a possible replacement for injured teammate Esava Ratugolea with an energetic performance in Geelong’s narrow VFL defeat to ladder leader Richmond.

Ratugolea will be monitored in the coming days after sustaining a hamstring injury during Friday night’s AFL thumping of the Tigers.

The Cats have a bye at both levels next week, giving Ratugolea extra time to recover before the AFL clash with Port Adelaide on June 22.

If he is not cleared to play, Buzza would be in contention to be called up for his first senior game of 2019.

The 23-year-old, who played nine AFL games in his first two seasons, kicked two goals from 15 disposals against Richmond at VFL level on Saturday and feels ready to make the step up.

“The body is feeling good,” Buzza said. “I had a bit of a hiccup (head knock) earlier in the year, but that’s behind me now.

“It’s a tough team to break into. They’re 11-1, and they very were dominant against Richmond.

“We haven’t had a great record against them at the MCG, and then we go and pump them.

“It just shows where we’re at, and we’ve got class on every line.

“Everyone’s performing, and it’s not like there are chinks in the armour, so at the moment I’ve just got to bide my time.

“I feel like a lot of us in the twos are putting our hands up, and it’s shown that when blokes get their opportunity, they’re performing and filling the gaps.

“Our time will come, and we’ve just got to keep working together and get a few more wins in the VFL.”

Buzza lacked a little bit of polish against Richmond, but Geelong VFL coach Shane O’Bree was impressed with the key forward’s work rate and appetite for the contest.

“Buzz’s energy was awesome,” O’Bree said.

“He kept on putting himself in a contest; he wants a contest and his follow-up work (was impressive).

“He nearly took a few good marks.

“As Buzz knows and we all know, he’s just got to take those opportunities.

“But I thought his energy and his leadership on the ground were fantastic.”

Darcy Fort, Ryan Abbott and Nathan Kreuger all featured alongside Buzza as tall targets in attack at different times.

Teenager Kreuger kicked three second-half goals after starring in the back line during the first half.

Twitter: @shayne_hope