K rock Football

Wood hails adaptable Cats

Ruby Benham impressed with two goals in Geelong’s VFLW win over Casey Demons. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

GEELONG coach Natalie Wood has paid tribute to her players’ ability to overcome adversity in beating Casey Demons by 29 points at GMHBA Stadium for its second win of the season.

Concussions suffered by AFLW-listed duo Denby Taylor and Georgia Clarke both sustained a concussion, while Krista Woodroffe was forced from the ground with a knee issue, leaving the Cats with just two players on the bench for the best part of three quarters.

Wood couldn’t find fault with any of her players, but it was the performance of midfielder Maddy Keryk as a defender that won praise from her coach.

“We had had a lot of the ball through the middle, and we were getting it in our front half, so we were really mindful of who to put back; we didn’t want to lose some of that forward pressure that we had been able to create,” Wood said.

“In the end, we decided to move a midfield back, and Maddy Keryk took that challenge on.

“She went straight back, and there was a particular way we were trying to get the defenders to play, and she not only led that by example, but she also led vocally.

“She was outstanding.”

VFL: CATS OUTCLASS DOLPHINS

Ruby Benham was crucial to Geelong laying the foundation for its victory, kicking consecutive goals after the Demons opened the scoring through Alicia Johnson.

Wood said Benham’s goals was a reward for effort.

“Ruby’s been working really hard on her forward craft,” Wood said.

“She’s been in and out of the team, and predominantly it’s not been anything she’s been doing wrong.

“It’s, as she’s been learning what to do forward, been a great opportunity to go back to local level and keep honing in on those skills.

“Ruby brings a real contested brand of footy for us, and her running patterns to get front-and-square was what was really helping her.”

Danni Orr, who was playing her first game since overcoming a concussion suffered on May 25, also impressed with three goals, while Julie Crockett-Grills, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Amy McDonald and Renee Garing made important contributions.

Taylor, who was taken to hospital after reporting neck soreness, and Clarke will be monitored closely ahead of next week’s clash with Carlton at IKON Park.

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GEELONG  3.1, 4.7, 5.7, 8.8 (56)

CASEY DEMONS 1.1, 2.1, 3.3, 4.3 (27)

Goals; Geelong: D. Orr 3, R. Benham 2, S. Van De Heuvel, R. Cranston, J. Crockett-Grills

Casey Demons: H. Cordner, G. Speedy, A. Johnson, C. Emonson

Best; Geelong: M. Keryk, J. Crockett-Grills, S. Van De Heuvel, A. McDonald, D. Orr, R. Garing

Casey Demons: C. Emonson, H. Cordner, K. Bentvelzen , N. Garner, S. Heath, A. Johnson