K rock Football

Cats too classy for Dolphins

Jamaine Jones kicked three goals in Geelong’s VFL win over Frankston. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

GEELONG kicked its second-highest score of the season and reignited its VFL finals push with an 89-point thumping of Frankston at GMBHA Stadium on Saturday.

Mobile ruckman Ryan Abbott starred as the Cats’ midfield dominated, providing a dangerous forward line with ample opportunity to hit the scoreboard.

The attackers cashed in, with Wylie Buzza, Aaron Black, Jamaine Jones (three each) and Nathan Kreuger (two) all kicking multiple goals in the 19.13 (127) to 5.8 (38) triumph.

It was the Cats’ biggest win of the season and moved them into the top eight ahead of next week’s clash with fellow finals aspirants Northern Blues.

Geelong set the tone early against Frankston as Kreuger (one) and Buzza (two) combined for three goals from strong marks in the opening five minutes.

The Cats piled on eight majors in the first term and their tally of 8.1 (49) at the first change represented their highest-scoring quarter of the 2019 season to date.

Former Collingwood and St Kilda midfielder Nathan Freeman was Frankston’s most prolific player with 33 disposals but didn’t have enough support in a midfield unit that was comprehensively beaten.

Charlie Constable (33 disposals), Scott Selwood (32), Lachie Fogarty (27) and Sam Simpson (26) were all busy in the Cats’ engine room.

Abbott rucked all day and finished with 25 disposals and 26 hit-outs.

“Our mids worked well together,” Geelong coach Shane O’Bree said.

“Their focus today was being elite with the ball in hand and working under pressure in time and space.

“What they’ve been working on really came out today, and you could see them really focusing and concentrating on it and implementing it.”

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Geelong’s control of the match was evident in a 66-30 inside-50 count. They also out-tackled Frankston (56-40) despite dominating possession (387 disposals to 307).

“Most of our attack comes off our good defense, and I thought our pressure was really good,” O’Bree said.

Experienced AFL defender Lachie Henderson hurt a shoulder in his return from a serious foot injury but is expected to be available next week.

VFL co-captain Aaron Black returned from a hamstring injury and lined up in attack, providing a marking target alongside Buzza and Kreuger.

“I thought (Henderson) was solid down back. He set the ground up really well and got a bit of the ball,” O’Bree said.

“He wasn’t really tested, especially in the second half, but he looked good off a break.

“Blacky was in the same boat. He’ll be better for the run and looked like he was running alright.

“His touch got better as the game went on and obviously played forward, which he hasn’t done for 18 months, and it was good to see him hit the scoreboard.”

23rd player Angus Byrne kicked one goal from 15 disposals in his first VFL game for Geelong.

The Cats take on Northern Blues at Ikon Park next Saturday.

Twitter: @shayne_hope

GEELONG  8.1, 12.4, 17.9, 19.13 (127)

FRANKSTON  2.1, 3.3, 3.4, 5.8 (38)

Goals: Geelong: J. Jones 3, W. Buzza 3, A. Black 3, N. Kreuger 2, R. Abbott, S. Simpson, J. McLachlan, N. Rokahr, B. Jarvis, B. Reid, P. Dowling, A. Byrne

Frankston: A. Harnett 2, Y. Zijai, W. Fordham, J. Miller

Best; Geelong: S. Simpson, R. Abbott, S. Selwood, L. Fogarty, C. Constable, J. McLachlan

Frankston: A. Harnett 2, Y. Zijai, W. Fordham, J. Miller