Geelong news

Cats eye Seagulls' top spot

From Geelong Advertiser
Reported by Michael Auciello

TOP spot on the ladder is up for grabs when Geelong takes on Williamstown in the VFL tomorrow.

The Cats sit in third spot, but a win against the first-placed Seagulls will leapfrog them over Sandringham, which has the bye, back into first place.

The game was originally scheduled as a curtain-raiser to the Geelong-Sydney clash at Skilled Stadium, but was moved to Burbank Oval after the Geelong council decided to protect the surface.

VFL football manager Ben Waller said the shift would provide a great challenge to the Geelong team coming off a week's break.

``We haven't had a great record down at Williamstown and it's a huge game in terms of the VFL so if we can win there, we can win anywhere,'' he said.

``Obviously we're disappointed (to move) but the main thing is the ground (Skilled Stadium) is maintained. We understand when it is quite wet the ground gets turned up a bit.

``The ground copped  a fair bit of rain a couple of weeks ago when we played a curtain-raiser. There's a bit of rain forecast this week, so if we play a curtain-raiser, a TAC Cup game and then the national championships next week, the ground will cop a caning.

Lonergan back ... and loving it

From Geelong Advertiser
Reported by Michael Auciello

THEY were terrible conditions for footy, but Tom Lonergan loved every second of it yesterday.

On a cold and wet Skilled Stadium, the 23-year-old Cat finally closed probably the most significant chapter in his life.

His comeback from a horrific incident that left him with one kidney has gained a lot of attention, so much so that Lonergan himself has wondered what all the fuss was about.

``I think other people think it's a bigger achievement than I (do). I was just doing what I do; I didn't think too much about it, although it was a pretty big deal,'' he said.

``I was nervous at the start, before the game, but once I got out there I was sweet.

``The first quarter I sort of was a little bit nervous still, but during the game it started to get easier and easier, and I just worked my way back into it.

Tom's back

From Geelong Advertiser
Reported by Michael Auciello

TOM Lonergan will complete his courageous comeback when he runs out with Geelong's VFL team on Sunday.

The 23-year-old was yesterday given the final all-clear from Cats' medicos after a life-threatening injury late last season.

Lonergan was playing just his seventh senior game against Melbourne in round 21 when he backed into a pack, resulting in internal bleeding and the eventual removal of a kidney.

He spent five days in an induced coma and lost 16kg, before making the decision to play on. He was delisted by the club at the end of last season but re-drafted as a rookie.

Coach Mark Thompson yesterday paid tribute to Lonergan's courage, saying it would provide extra motivation to his teammates this weekend.

``Everyone's very proud of what he's done and they're really happy to have him around here,'' he said.

``They think it's a gutsy effort to want to play and to force his way back to the level of fitness to be able to take the field this week. It is a sensational effort.

``I'm not sure once the game starts whether it'll have much effect but I think in the lead-up (it will).''

Thompson said he did not have  an opinion one way or the other whether Lonergan would make it back, but said the defender  had a lot of family and friends rally around him since the incident.

Life's tough at the top

From Geelong Advertiser

INACCURATE kicking and a lack of accountability have cost the Cats a chance to consolidate top position on the VFL ladder after a 15-point loss to Werribee on Saturday.

The Tigers have been in outstanding form, claiming their fourth consecutive scalp. Their previous three victories came at an average of 96 points.

``The VFL competition is very even, and every week is different due to the alignments and injuries teams have,'' Cats coach Leigh Tudor said post-match.

Bulldog veteran Chris Grant played his first reserves game for 14 years and, along with AFL teammates Jordon McMahon, Sam Power and Will Minson, provided a great deal of experience for Werribee. Small forward and ex-Cat Matthew Robbins was prominent, kicking 4.4 for the day and applying great forward line pressure.

Geelong registered three of the first four goals for the game, but it was Werribee which played the superior football from then onwards, entering its  forward 50 16 times to nine for the quarter.

The Tigers also doubled the Cats' tackle count throughout the game, displaying a stronger desire to win the contested ball around the ground.

A lack of forward line pressure and accountability through the midfield from Geelong saw the Tigers slam on five unanswered majors to lead at the first break by 20 points.

Cats face local rivals

From Geelong Advertiser
Reported by Michael Auciello

GEELONG'S VFL team will take centre stage this weekend while the senior team plays interstate.

The Cats take on local rivals Werribee at Skilled Stadium tomorrow in what could be a star-studded line-up for the Tigers.

Veteran Chris Grant will make his long-awaited return from groin surgery for the Tigers team, while fellow senior regulars Jordan McMahon, Sam Power, Cameron Wight and Matthew Robbins will join him.

Another former Western Bulldogs captain, Luke Darcy, will not take part in the game, despite coach Rodney Eade remaining coy on whether his struggling ruckman would be sent back to the VFL.

For the top of the table Cats, it is another chance for those pushing for a limited number of spots in the senior team to put their case forward.

Tom Hawkins, Joel Selwood, Brent Prismall, Shannon Byrnes and Josh Hunt should all be in action as they put their hands up for a senior recall.

Meanwhile, several  up-and-coming stars will also be out to continue the Cats' run, including Nathan Djerrkura, Jason Davenport, Sam Hunt, Ryan Gamble, Liam Bedford and Simon Hogan.

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