VFL Review- Round 14

Updated: July 19, 2015
Geelong's Jarred Jansen lunges to make a tackle in the VFL loss to Footscray. Picture: ARJ GIESE
Geelong's Jarred Jansen lunges to make a tackle in the VFL loss to Footscray. Picture: ARJ GIESE

Geelong’s Jarred Jansen lunges to make a tackle in the VFL loss to Footscray. Picture: ARJ GIESE

THE comeback of Daniel Menzel continues to gather momentum, while the encouraging form of Billie Smedts was also among the shining lights to come from Geelong’s 26-point VFL loss to Footscray.

In his second match back, Menzel kicked three goals from his 19 touches and played a lot of game time as a midfielder as the Cats went down 15.5 (95) to 10.9 (69) against the reigning VFL premiers at Simonds Stadium.

Smedts had a game-high 27 disposals for the Cats – 13 of those contested – and laid five tackles to again put his name forward for a potential call-up to the AFL side.

After missing nine weeks with a broken collarbone, Smedts has now strung together four solid performances at VFL level and said he worked hard on his game during his injury lay-off and has come back determined to win back his spot at senior level.

“I feel like I’ve gotten better each week,” Smedts said.

“I’m just enjoying playing consistent game time and I’m trying to build some continuity in my game and get better each week so hopefully I’m pushing my name up there.”

Geelong VFL coach Paul Hood was pleased with Smedts’ contribution.

“The areas that Billie’s been working on developing over the last couple of seasons are really improving – you can see that,” Hood said.

“He’s strong in a contest, he’s physically impacting the opposition, his tackling has been excellent. At VFL level we really want him to take the game on, but also be an influential player and he did that really well today.”

It was a significant milestone for Menzel as the last time he ruptured his ACL it happened in his second match back.

Hood said while the coaches felt he looked “a little rusty at times” they were pleased that he built on his game time from last week.

“He was still a very serviceable player for the team and pulled off a couple of really good pieces of play,” Hood said.

“Just talking to him after the game he just felt he got tired which is pretty natural after the time that he’s had out.

“Being tired effects the way that he plays and executes his skills. As he gets more footy behind him we expect to see some really good things.”

Geelong were left to rue a lapse in the second term where it allowed the Bulldogs to kick six unanswered goals and open up a 33-point lead at half-time.

The Cats enjoyed their most dominant period of the game in the third term when they closed to within two points, but two late goals to the Bulldogs gave them breathing space and they were able to maintain that advantage all through the last term.

“The second quarter was poor,” Hood said.

“We spent a lot of energy in the third digging our way back from that and those two late goals just meant the Bulldogs had that buffer which made us have to be a very aggressive with our ball use.

“In the end we weren’t able to pull it off and they pulled away to kick a couple of late goals.”

The Cats’ No.1 draft pick from last season Nakia Cockatoo impressed playing off half-back, while George Horlin-Smith had a big impact around the contest with 10 clearances and also laid eight tackles. Zac Bates kicked two goals in another solid performance.

Meanwhile, Werribee’s grip on a top eight spot has loosened even further after the Tigers were overpowered by Sandringham in the final term at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.

Werribee, who were in front for the majority of the day, led three points heading into the last quarter but the Zebras took control of the game to run out winners 12.15 (87) to 11.9 (75).

The loss leaves the Tigers in eighth spot on the ladder and just a game ahead of ninth-placed Port Melbourne ahead of a showdown with the second-placed Box Hill Hawks at Werribee next Sunday.

Josh Porter, Billy Iles and Matt Munro all kicked two goals for Werribee while Issac Conway produced another consistent performance. Matt Hanson, James Hussey, Nathan Laracy and Tom Holman were also among their best.

Twitter: @GreenBradley

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