From Geelong Advertiser
Reported by Nick Wade
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RETURNING Geelong ruckman Dawson Simpson got through his comeback match unscathed in the VFL yesterday but it wasn't enough to save the Cats.

Geelong is delicately poised in seventh spot on the VFL ladder after going down to Sandringham in a four-point loss marred by wasted opportunities.

But the 16.16 (112) to 15.18 (108) loss wasn't through lack of effort.

Rookie-listed midfielder Jonathan Simpkin again helped his promotion chances with another solid performance, while Lara's Jack Hollmer went forward and kicked four goals. Simpson got his hand on plenty of hit-outs and won a bit of the footy, but the 206cm big man was hardly satisfied with his performance, despite such a lengthy injury-enforced layoff.

"In talking to him after the game, he said he was disappointed with his spread and run," Cats VFL captain Troy Selwood said last night.

"But the thing is, that will all take two-to-three weeks and we won't see his best footy for a month because of the amount of time he's missed.

"But I felt he was on top of his ruckman all day."

The match was Simpson's first of the season after undergoing back surgery in the pre-season. Had he not succumbed to injury, he would most likely have been in the mix for an AFL call-up.

But he will be robbed of continuity in his recovery, with the Cats having a week off next week due to the VFL state representative match. The Cats also have a VFL bye in mid June, adding a further hurdle to his comeback.

"He'll train hard and with a few VFL games under his belt after the break, hopefully he'll be pushing for a senior opportunity," Selwood said.