VFL Review – Round 19

Updated: August 23, 2015
Shane Kersten kicked five goals in Geelong's VFL loss to Sandringham. Picture: ARJ GIESE


Shane Kersten kicked five goals in Geelong's VFL loss to Sandringham. Picture: ARJ GIESE

Shane Kersten kicked five goals in Geelong’s VFL loss to Sandringham. Picture: ARJ GIESE

A FIVE-GOAL haul to key forward Shane Kersten was a shining light from Geelong’s 28-point loss to Sandringham in the penultimate round of the VFL.

The Cats suffered their third straight defeat in the 14.17 (101) to 11.7 (73) result at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

Geelong coach Paul Hood said Kersten’s performance, along with the form of AFL pair Josh Cowan (21 possessions) and Dean Gore (17 disposals), were among the positives to come from the match.

Kersten, who’s played 11 AFL matches this season, has missed the past fortnight with a toe injury.

Hood said the Cats “had a good crack” all game against the second-placed Zebras but let themselves down with their disposal at crucial times.

“We found out some areas where we need to get better, so from that point of view the day’s a positive,” Hood said.

“We were smacked around the clearances and we just didn’t use the ball well enough or absorb Sandringham’s pressure well enough to be able to put possessions together to score.

“Our final entry wasn’t good enough or the play would break down and they’d score off our turnovers.

“So the effort was fair but we probably should have got a better result for how much footy we did get.

“It was another game where we did play well in patches and controlled the game for periods, we just need to keep working with the boys on the areas they can improve their consistency and control the whole games and get a few wins.”

Billie Smedts was a late withdrawal with a virus with Mitch Herbison backing up from playing with South Barwon on Saturday for his second game of the weekend.

Of the VFL-listed players, Nick Dixon had a game high 26 disposals and five clearances while Tom Ruggles (23 possessions, 10 marks), Tom Atkins and Brent Haintz were solid along with 23rd man Tom Cole.

Ruggles is a key contender for Geelong’s best and fairest this season, having been named in the best in nine of his 17 appearances this season.

Hood said their VFL-listed players have gotten better as the season has gone on and hopes to retain the majority of those in 2016.

“We’ve got a really clear understanding of what we need to work on over the pre-season and how we can help those guys develop,” Hood said.

“The 10-15 games that some of those boys have got this year, if we work really hard on that we can have a good base going forward.”

The Cats round out their 2015 season against the Northern Blues at Simonds Stadium next Saturday.

Meanwhile, Werribee has completed a rare double in 2015 against neighbouring rivals Williamstown, beating the Seagulls by 15 points to keep alive its hopes of a top four finish.

The Tigers led all game – by as much as 34 points mid-way through the third term – and withstood a last quarter fightback by Williamstown to win 11.22 (88) to 11.7 (73).

It was Werribee’s fourth straight victory and the Tigers head into the final round in sixth spot on the ladder equal on points with the fourth-placed Footscray, who they host at Avalon Airport Oval next Sunday.

Young key forward Josh Porter starred for Werribee with a career-best four goals and Ben Speight chipped in with two in a solid performance.

James Hussey was the Tigers’ best while Matt Hanson, Jesse Crichton, defender Nathan Laracy and North Melbourne rookie Will Fordham were also key contributors.

Twitter: @GreenBradley

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