The first game of the real stuff is so different from any of the lead up games. Suddenly, it really means something.
Four points are on the line and the players must feel like they are at the start of a rollercoaster ride at Movie World, one you have never been on before. It is exciting and nerve racking and going at a million miles an hour, but that is what all the training is for, to be ready for this moment.
The opening quarter of the season, in light drizzle, was exactly what you would have expected. Geelong settled first and 2 goals in the opening 10 minutes were reward for effort. The Tigers had chances but could not take a mark inside their attacking 50. Joe Maishman got the Tigers on the board halfway through the quarter and Isaac Conway goaled after the siren to make the margin just a goal at the first change.
Whatever John Lamont said at quarter time (spectators were not allowed onto the hallowed turf of Simonds Stadium) worked, especially defensively. The Werribee tackling was having an effect and an inspired three effort play by Nathan Laracy was a highlight of the quarter. Scores were tied at half time but Werribee had lost Harrison King to a shoulder injury. Neither side seemed to be able to grab total control of the game and went goal for goal until the Cats scored three in the time on period.
Another after the siren effort from Werribee saw the Cats leading by 8 or 9 points (the scoreboard was adjusted from 10.7 to 10.8). The rain got heavier in the last quarter and that didn’t help either side gain ascendancy. The highlight of the quarter a brilliant left foot snap for goal by Werribee’s Matt Munro. The Tigers were valiant in defeat but in the end, just not good enough to get those valuable four points.
Senior coach John Lamont telling leader Newspapers “Our blokes just wanted to keep playing dry weather footy and we just over-possessed at key times. But I was happy with their output. I thought they did a good job. We did a few things wrong, as you’d expect with a young group with eight blokes debuting at this level. You’re never happy with a loss, but you can be beaten and be pretty ordinary as we all know. Our blokes really hung in there, and I thought they gutsed it out really well, because we had injuries and limited rotations.”
Geelong Cats 3.1 5.4 10.7 12.12 (84)
Werribee Tigers 2.1 5.4 9.5 10.6 (66)
Geelong Cats: Read 3 Kersten 3 Kolodjashnij 2 Close Ruggles Luxford McFarlane
Werribee Tigers: Iles 2 Conway 2 Bolton Norris Munro Speight Maishman Daw
Geelong Cats: Farrelly Kolodjashnij Gore Kersten Ruggles Read
Werribee Tigers: Crichton Conway Vickers-Willis Wilson Hanson Currie
Coburg 8.5 9.8 14.9 17.12 (114)
Werribee Tigers 3.3 5.8 8.10 9.12 (66)
Coburg: Gleeson 4 MacDonald 3 Tabakman 2 Brandt Robinson Iacobaccio Clarke Fox Sortino Schraven McConville
Werribee Tigers: Brett 4 Robinson Burton Wales Wallace Jawad
Coburg: Iacobaccio Gleeson Robertella Fox Clarke Schraven
Werribee Tigers: Adams Jago Cousins Wallace Robinson Hussey