VFL Preview – Round 14

Updated: July 16, 2015
Geelong rookie Padraig Lucey contests a boundary throw-in against Werribee's Eric Wallace. Picture: AL PACKER
Geelong rookie Padraig Lucey contests a boundary throw-in against Werribee's Eric Wallace. Picture: AL PACKER

Geelong rookie Padraig Lucey contests a boundary throw-in against Werribee’s Eric Wallace. Picture: AL PACKER

GEELONG has an opportunity to redeem itself for two of its worst performances of the VFL season in the next fortnight and keep itself in the race for a top eight berth.

The 10th placed Cats host reigning premiers Footscray, who sit fourth on the ladder, at Simonds Stadium on Sunday followed by a showdown against Essendon (fifth) the following week.

The Cats lost by 62 points to the Bulldogs in Round 5 and then by 92 points against the Bombers in Round 8 – but on both occasions they were light on for AFL-listed talent.

But a shrinking  injury list means Geelong will field 13 AFL-listed players against the Bulldogs this weekend, boosting the Cats hopes of toppling another top eight side following last week’s two-point thrilling win over Werribee.

Forward Shane Kersten and defender Jake Kolodjashnij have been called into the AFL side while ruckman Dawson Simpson returns to the VFL. Sandy Robinson is also back after missing a couple of weeks with a corked quad.

Coach Paul Hood said the Cats were eager to embrace the challenge.

“It’s a great chance for our boys to test themselves against the two best teams we’ve played this year,” Hood said.

The Cats sit two games behind eighth spot and a loss will almost ensure they aren’t part of the September action for a second straight year.

Hood said nullifying the Bulldogs key talls would be crucial on Sunday, as will matching them in and around the contest.

“In every key contested indicator they are the number one team so we want to see how we stand up against those guys,” Hood said.

“We were very good around the contest last week. We were pleased with our stoppage set ups Even though we didn’t win the clearances overall, we did win a few effective clearances that resulted in scoring opportunities.”

The Cats will finalise their team on Friday.

Co-captain Jackson Hollmer will achieve another accolade when he equals Trent West’s record of 105 VFL matches for the Cats.

Meanwhile Werribee finds itself in a precarious position following last week’s narrow loss ahead of Saturday’s crucial showdown against Sandringham at Avalon Airport Oval.

The Tigers have tumbled to seventh on the ladder, just a game ahead of the ninth-placed Port Melbourne. But, such is closeness of the VFL competition, they are only a win behind the third-placed Zebras.

Sandringham beat the Tigers by 40 points back in Round 7 and also tamed them at Werribee in Round 19 last season.

The Zebras are also coming off an amazing come-from-behind victory over Coburg last round, where they trailed by seven goals at quarter-time after being kept scorless before rallying to win.

The Tigers will be without key trio Jye Bolton (foot), Jesse Crichton (hip) and Scott Sherlock (hip/back), who were all injured in the loss to the Cats.

Werribee is also waiting whether to see North Melbourne defender Lachie Hansen passes a fitness test and is cleared to play after being sidelined with a hip complaint.

Twitter: @GreenBradley


Werribee (7th) vs. Sandringham (3rd) @ Avalon Airport Oval, Saturday 2.00pm

Werribee Tigers

B McMahon Wilson Holman
HB Laracy Hussey Fordham
C Munro Speight McDonald
HF Robinson Porter Wood
F Harper Daw Conway
R Wallace Hanson Maishman
Int Brett* H. Wales Norris
Ferrari King Iles
Reid E. Wales Pickering

Geelong (10th) vs. Footscray Bulldogs (4th) @ Simonds Stadium, Sunday 11.42am


B Ruggles Robinson Cunico
HB Raidme Hollmer Jansen
C Gore Cockatoo Menzel
HF Blease Read Luxford
F Bates Lucey Farrelly
R Simpson Horlin-Smith Smedts
Int Rees Linton Atkins
Paliouras Sheringham Maas
Haintz* Tudor McFarlane

Bendigo Bank