Two wins for Falcons
- Updated: March 19, 2017
THE Geelong Falcons have fine-tuned their preparation for next week’s TAC Cup opening round with two convincing practice match wins over Greater Western Victoria Rebels at Deakin University’s Elite Sports Precinct this afternoon.
Both matches were played in hot conditions at the Waurn Ponds campus – the temperature was in the low 30s for most of the afternoon – and with AFL recruiters, player managers and Vic Country selectors watching intently.
Geelong won the first game 16.6 (102) to 8.7 (55) and the second match 14.17 (101) to 4.5 (29), and Falcons coach Daniel O’Keefe was pleased what he saw from his playing group.
“In our pre-game meeting I asked the players ‘what’s today about for you?’, and their responses were really good,” O’Keefe said.
“They wanted to start playing their roles and owning those roles and playing for each other, and it also gave us as coaches a clear indication of where everyone is at coming into Round 1.
“It was actually very hard to pick six best players for the day.
“I asked the boys after the game who played well for us and there was a silent pause.
“But I told them that’s what we’re after – we don’t want stand out players, we want an even contribution from across the group.”
James Worpel and Cassidy Parish won plenty of the ball in the second game, Josh Jaska – one of the Falcons’ 19-year-olds – looked solid in defence while West Australian Jordan Reid showed marking ability will be an asset up forward.
Ben Thomas, Ned McHenry and David Handley all kicked three goals.
The Falcons and Rebels will face off again next Saturday at Simonds Stadium for premiership points.
Co-captain Cooper Stephens and Matthew Ling didn’t play either game as both continue to recover from niggling injuries. Both O’Keefe is confident both will be fit to line-up this Saturday.
“There’s going to have to be some hard decisions that have to be made (at selection). There’s going to be some good players that miss out on getting a game,” O’Keefe said.
“We know that we can’t afford to rest on laurels because of the results of two practice games. (The results) tell me that the Rebels will come out twice as hard next Saturday and we have to be ready and prepared for that.”