K rock Football

Cats comeback falls short

Geelong forward Wylie Buzza flies for a mark in the loss to Northern Blues. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

AN inability to make the most of its chances when controlling the game has resulted in a one-point loss for Geelong in its VFL clash with Northern Blues at GMHBA Stadium, 10.8 (68) to 9.13 (67).

Trailing by 21 points at three-quarter time, the Cats kicked three goals to one in the final quarter but were unable to find the major that would have given them their first win of the 2019 season.

Draftee Oscar Brownless had an opportunity to put Geelong in front with less than 90 seconds remaining, however, his left-foot snap was off the mark and the Blues were able to hang on.

“It’s probably a common trend where we lose control of the game at times,” coach Shane O’Bree said.

“Is it structure? It’s probably not. It’s just more teams are a bit zippier and get their hands on the ball a bit more around the contest, which is something we’ve just got to keep on working on with the dynamics of the group.

“That starts around the contest, e.g stoppages.

“Credit to the boys. They do grind it out and find a way to get back in the game.”

Geelong dominated the second quarter, but could only manage three goals from seven shots, as it held the Blues to two behinds for the quarter.

“We definitely controlled the game; we had heaps more of the ball. Inside 50s – plenty of them,” O’Bree said.

“Probably just the finishing touches going in. We did try to use the shorts and just didn’t bomb away to our talls.

“But probably a bit of execution killed us there. And that was probably the theme of our day.”

With Rhys Stanley holding the mantle as the Cats’ No.1 ruck option and Ryan Abbott, who has been an AFL emergency for the opening month of the season, Darcy Fort has spent the majority of his VFL stint as a forward.

He kicked two goals and had a hand in a couple of others, with his work at ground level just as good as in the air.

“He’s looking dangerous and he’s implementing a lot of things on his craft at training and it’s coming out gameday,” O’Bree said.

“He kicked two goals today, hit the post a couple of times. He probably could have clunked a few more marks, but that’s what he working on with his strength and body positioning.”

Midfielders James Parsons and Sam Simpson also put their hand up for AFL selection in coming weeks with solid performances, while Jamaine Jones also showed positive signs before coming off with cramp late in the game.

Former AFL listed defender Aaron Black made a solid return from a serious knee injury in what was his first game in just over 10 months.

Geelong next faces neighbours Werribee for the K rock Cup at Avalon Airport Oval on Easter Saturday.

Twitter: @tom_king79

NORTHERN BLUES  5.2, 5.4, 9.7, 10.8 (68)

GEELONG  2.3, 5.7, 6.10, 9.13 (67)

Goals: Northern Blues: J. Silvagni 2, P. Kerr 2, J. Palmer 2, F. O”Dwyer, M. Kreuzer, J. Garlett, E. Penrith

Geelong: D. Fort 2, O. Brownless 2, N. Kreuger, J. Tarca, W. Buzza, J. Jones, Z. Smith

Best: Northern Blues: M. Kreuzer, T. Wilson, J. Silvagni, H. Goddard, F. Anderson, J. Hill

Geelong: J. Parsons, S. Simpson, J. Jones, A. Black, B. Reid, W. Buzza