K rock Football

Cats a step closer to finals

Geelong players celebrate a goal in their 27-point VFLW win over North Melbourne. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

GEELONG coach Andrew Bruce is keen to build more momentum in the coming weeks after the Cats all but clinched a fourth-straight VFLW finals appearance with a comfortable win over North Melbourne at Arden Street.

A three-goal opening term was enough for Geelong to put the Kangaroos on the back foot, with the visitors making it consecutive wins with a 6.5 (41) to 1.8 (14) victory.

The result has fifth-placed Geelong three games and significant percentage clear of North Melbourne and Collingwood with three rounds to play.

The Magpies have a game in hand but face third-placed Casey Demons on Sunday morning at Casey Fields.

“We’ve had a bit of an indifferent year with a lot of different things,” Bruce said.

“But, over the last few weeks, we’ve just tried to be consistent, and that’s helped get some of these wins.

“And, we’re starting to play some better footy, so, hopefully, come finals, wherever we end up, we will be playing some good footy and have a good crack it.”

With an earlier than usual start at 9:30 am, Bruce was unsure how his team would get out of the blocks.

However, he had no real cause for concern, with goals to Chloe Scheer and Geelong Falcons duo Analea McKee and Keeley Hardingham, giving Geelong a 17-point lead at the first change.

“We had a pretty good warm-up, and the girls seemed ready to go,” Bruce said.

“We said to them, ‘we want you to hit the ground running, (and) get them under pressure straight away’, and we thought we could get some score on the board, and we did.

“We were probably lucky on our first (goal), but we kicked five in the first half, and we were looking really good with the way we moved the footy.

“Then North changed some things up a little bit and played a lot more congested.

“The last quarter, we got back to doing; we just didn’t get the result on the scoreboard.”

Laura Gardiner’s stunning run on the stat sheet continued, racking up 38 disposals.

However, Bruce said the AFLW-listed midfielder would be the first to admit it wasn’t her best performance.

“She got high numbers, but I think she would say it wasn’t one of her high-level games,” Bruce said.

“She’ll probably pull the pin now and give her body a rest.

“It’s really hard with the unknown date of AFLW. She would like to keep on playing, but she needs a rest.

“She’s been magnificent for us, and hopefully, she has a really good pre-season.”

A hamstring injury that experienced big Maddy Boyd suffered was the only downside for Geelong, which plays Darebin at Preston City Oval next Saturday afternoon.

Twitter: @tom_king79