K rock Football

Learnings for the Cats

Acting captain Bec Goring leads Geelong off the field following Saturday night’s 18-point loss to the Western Bulldogs. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)

GEELONG coach Paul Hood says his young team will “get better for the experience” after suffering an 18-point loss to reigning premier Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval on Saturday night, 5.4 (34) to 2.4 (16).

The Cats made a solid start to the contest, with a goal to GWS Giants recruit Phoebe McWilliams helping the visitors to a two-point lead at quarter time.

But Geelong, which was without No.1 draft pick Nina Morrison after she suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament at training on Thursday night, lacked polish with ball in hand, while the Dogs were able to capitalise while kicking in to the wind.

Kristy Lamb was influential for the Dogs as they wrestled back momentum and scored the quick goals early in the second quarter, taking advantage of the strong breeze and keeping the Cats scoreless until half time.

The Cats attempted to claw their way back with a goal from debutant Georgia Clarke early in the third quarter, however the Dogs pressure around the ball proved too much for the Cats.

“I think it’s just pure inexperience,” coach Paul Hood said.

“The Bulldogs have played at this ground and are now in their third season. They’ve had some tremendous success and a good method, and they tested ours a little bit.

“The fact they were able to put some scoreboard pressure on meant that maybe our possessions meant a little bit more and the players were a bit nervous.

“We’ll get better for the experience. It’s great to test ourselves against good teams and we look forward to coming out again next week and improving a little bit more.”

Renee Garing and Maddie Keryk worked hard for the Cats in the midfield, as did Maddie Boyd who struggled for opportunities in the forward line. Meghan McDonald starred for the Cats for the second week running, while Olivia Purcell accrued 16 disposals.

Geelong faces another challenge next Sunday with a trip to Adelaide to play the Crows next Sunday..

Hard-nosed midfielder Richelle Cranston will play her first AFL Women’s game for the Cats after serving a two-match suspension, while captain Mel Hickey may make her maiden appearance in the Hoops.

However, ruck Aasta O’Connor is likely to undergo a scan to check for any structural damage on a corked leg which saw her sit out the majority of the second half.

Twitter: @LauraThistle9